The Writing Life
We're gonna talk about the writing life. And the first thing I wanna confess to you is that I haven't had a job since 1977. Haven't had a job, haven't collected a paycheck. Was a single mother, put three children through school, so you better believe I worked hard, and I had to develop some pretty strong work habits, and self-discipline, because I never had a boss. There was nobody standing over me saying, "You'd better deliver", I just knew I did. And my work habits did not include sitting and waiting for the muse. I always knew I had to get up in the morning and tell a story, and I wanted to do it well. And from a pretty early stage, I really recognized, quite apart from need to earn my living, a responsibility to readers. And I have never, never forgotten that part, that what I do, and what you do, as a writer, is only half of the job, really. The other part is what the reader does. The person who takes in your story, and gives over their time and their trust. You take their hand, y...
ou say, "Let me lead you along on this journey", and you'd better make it worthwhile for them, and not cheat them, and tell them only part of what the actual truth was. So I'm gonna begin with a little bit of a description of how I go about it, and it won't all apply to you. So take what is useful, and discard the rest. I have a series of rituals, and they're very important to me because so much of what I do is uncharted territory. So if there are just a few things, I will never buy ground coffee because that would deprive me of one of my precious rituals, which is grinding the coffee in the morning. And again, that's not gonna be the magic bullet that will make your writing suddenly lyrical, and successful, and moving, and powerful. But it is important, when you wander into this dark wood, that you have a few things to hold onto.