Friday, 24 August 2012

Being an Author: Being an Author

Some days, as I sit in front of the keyboard, stroking my beard in an 'evil genius' sort of way, I think about the author lifestyle, being an author. The lifestyle that I have chosen, for good or bad, and wonder what it was like when I first started doing it.

These days it's sort of old hat. Back then? Did I like it? Do it for fun? Because I was drunk?  So here's a run down for the aspiring author of what may - or may not - go.

1. The lonely road.

Writing's lonely, right? Well, at the risk of contradicting myself (or not) depending on how drunk you were when you read things that I may have said drunk, no. Writing's not lonely. Well, writing's lonely. But being an author isn't. I have friends. People. Conversations. I have good friends. Firm friends. Even a special friend. I can enjoy life, love, lust and everything in between. Just because you write, don't go without. Trust me. Eat, drink and be merry. Reach out. Touch someone. Touch many people. Let them touch you.

2. Writing to write.

Your writing is just for you, right? Well, feel the back of my hand as I slap sense in your general direction. Don't be silly. If your writing was just for you, you wouldn't be here now, would you? No. Let your writing wend it's way into other peoples lives. Be the words. Let people read your stuff. Share. It's better that way.

3. Being drunk/overweight/generally spending life at a desk.

You need to look after yourself. Especially if you haven't done point 1 yet, because no one will do it for you. Walk, run, stagger, whatever. Do something that someone, somewhere might be able to use in a sentence with the word cardio. Eat good things. No not pizza. Pizza is a nice thing, not a good thing. That green stuff. At the bottom of the fridge. No not that, the stuff next to it, the stuff that's supposed to be green. It's salad. Eat that. Don't be drunk all the time. If your fingers aren't hitting the right keys you're drunk. Too early? Start later next time. Oh, and sometimes find the best people from point 1. And go out and get drunk with them. It's called social drinking. (Apparently it's more 'acceptible')

4. Oh, for the love of the art...

Grow up. You're not Shakespeare. And if you are, you have every right to ignore this. And tell me I'm wrong. I don't mind. I don't make my living writing. I've got 'a day job' like most people. Don't sacrifice everything for the art. (See points 1 & 3). Make time to do other things as well sometimes. I've had deadlines. I've worked all night to finish. But don't do it all the time. (Point 3, mostly).

5. For the love of God, rant.

It doesn't matter to who, why, or how. But outlet. I'm going to let you into a secret. This blog is my outlet. Some of the things that you read here you might find odd, mad, wrong, or even right, but when I'm crushed under work, point 1 is killing me, no one is interested in point 2, point 3... well I've lost days before now over point 3, and point 4 is ragging me to death...

... I get to shout at the Internet.

Even if no one listens. And you know what? It makes me feel better. Point 5 will keep you sane.

That, and point 1.

/End Rant.

'Til next time...

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