I hope you don’t mind if I waste a post by explaining to you why I don’t feel like writing anything. It’s funny. When I was out of town the other day, I was following the news on my phone. So I wrote up a whole schedule of articles for the next day in my notebook. Now, that’s notebook as in the thing that people from the 1950s would recognize. I still do a lot of writing by hand. But the point is that I wrote down what I was going to write once I got back home with all my standard tools like the keyboard I like, the trackball, and the computer set up the way that I like it.
And here’s the thing: I got those articles written fast. The hardest thing about writing articles is coming up with what to write about. But that isn’t exactly true. I have about fifty tabs open right now with things that I would like to write about. But I just don’t care to do it right now. Part of it is just that I don’t feel good. And that may have something to do with not eating enough today. So I’m cooking dinner — which I’m also not very excited about.
But I’ll tell you: I have been feeling tired a lot recently. It hasn’t stopped me from writing like a madman. But I constantly have to fight the urge to crawl into bed with a book. And God knows, that would be good for me! What is the point of all this writing? That’s especially true of the writing here. I understand the point of the other writing: money. And I’m very keen on money right now. In fact, let’s talk about money — as it relates to the writer.
Here’s the thing: you can be a really good writer — even a great writer. You can work really hard as a writer. And by that, I don’t mean it in the sense of, “Well, I’m thinking about my novel as a drink a beer and shoot pool over at the local pub.” In fact, the people around you can even be aware that you are a good and hard working writer. But if you aren’t making money, you are still pretty much a joke to them. It’s nothing personal. It is just people don’t know enough about writing (or almost anything) to judge what you do. So they go with commerce.
For example, I’ll bet I could find two generic paragraphs: one each from Stephen King and John Steinbeck. They are good examples because they are both great writers and popular. (Fun fact: it has not been cool to show disdain for King since 1981.) And I could show both of these paragraphs to a group of people, and they would not be able to identify which writer is which, even though they have pretty distinctive styles. So people don’t much get writing. I don’t blame them for it. But that’s the reason they fall back on every writer’s most hated question, “Yeah, but are you making any money?”
But that’s one great thing about these other paying gigs. The fact that Frankly Curious brings in about ten bucks in Amazon referrals each month, doesn’t really matter anymore. Now people have to accept that what I do here has value because other people are paying me to write the same kind of stuff elsewhere. And really, it isn’t that different — except in one way: those who pay me tell me what to write about. Which means writing here is a whole lot harder. I hope you appreciate it!
Having written this, I feel so much more energetic. And dinner’s almost done.