Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thank You

I've spent the last two weeks entirely in my own head. It was a nice little vacation, I suppose, and I had a few things I wanted to straighten out before I started writing again.

You know what I like about writers and writing in general? That we're all passion driven. I mean, let's face it, the last thing the world really needs is another million or so writers. Even among successful writers, there's very little money in it, and then of course, from what I hear, the entire publishing industry is about to POOF and vanish in a haze of dust.

But you know what? I'd still write.

I remember once I got hired at a real estate office to answer phones over a holiday weekend. They also wanted some filing done. I was in seventh grade, I think, and I sat in that empty office at the secretary's desk all day. Right in front of an IBM Selectrix typewriter, which at the time was the height of technology. And I wrote a story. I typed like mad all day. I still have the story, actually, and it's not too bad. Not great, but hey, I was 13.

You know why I remember that day? Because it was a great day that stuck out in the middle a lousy year. Since then, I've written, what, 100,000 pages? A million pages? I don't even know.

I was speaking with my mom recently about money, and I remarked that I don't really miss having lots of money because I spend pretty much every day focused on things that excite me. My hobby is my job. What would tons of money buy me that I don't already have? Money can't buy me time, can't buy passion, and it can't make me better at my craft. Money doesn't buy patience and it doesn't teach me how to dig for the heart of a story.

I've heard a lot of awful news lately. Heartbreaking financial news of people losing their homes, suffering through massive income loss, people who are scared and angry that the future we're heading into will be worse than the past we're emerging from. I get anxious and pissed off like anyone else, and sometimes it's so suffocating that I just want to run in any direction, as fast as I can, until I'm tired and collapse.

So I still haven't figured out the Big Thing I'm working on. Basically, I have three projects (two fiction and one nonfiction) that all seem deserving of attention. And I don't know which one to work on first. How do you know when you're working on the right thing? How do you choose?

I suspect the answer is probably obvious, probably right in front of my own face. But for today, I just wanted to say thank you to the universe and karma and kizmut and God and Buddha and whatever else, for giving me the opportunity and inclination to write for a living because, despite everything else, there is no joy like the joy that comes from creation.


Natasha Fondren said...

It is a scary time. I'm so grateful and lucky for where I'm at now. My mother is devastated that I'm living in a camper and being a vagabond with my husband, but I'm loving the freedom, the fresh air, and the ability to do what I love. (Well, I'll be more happy when the Jeep is fixed up and I can be less fearful that it's going to break down and crash my house, LOL...)

In times like these, you sure learn a lot about what is and what is not important to you.

Oh... er, I'm lame at deciding. I tell my editor my ideas and see what perks her up most. I'm an indecisive Libra. Huge decisions come down to the toss of a coin.

LurkerMonkey said...


That sounds pretty cool, actually ... We often talk about driving around the country in some kind of RV-type machine.

Melanie Avila said...

This was a very uplifting post when I needed some lifting. As I read this my new website it uploading, so I'm hoping that brings me one step closer to following your lead.

Mark Terry said...

Tough times for a lot of people. I try to keep the attitude of gratitude. As much as writing sometimes drives me crazy, it's light years better than what I did for a living before.

LurkerMonkey said...


Send me the link when it's done! I'd love to see your site.

LurkerMonkey said...


Me too, especially since the job I had before I started writing was ... dishwasher.

Mark Terry said...

I was a professional dishwasher a few times myself. There are worse jobs, I suppose, but writing's definitely better.