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Health food stores, writers, and electricians

November 8, 2011

Yesterday, someone I hardly know bumped into me at the health food store and said, “You know, I used to think I would be a writer, like you.”
“Really?” I said.
“Yeah,” he said, “But then I realized I could do it for fun. And so I got a real job.”

I suppose lots of different professionals hear this kind of thing. But do they? I mean, do people say to electricians, “You know, I was almost an electrician, but then I realized I needed to get a real job.”

My first editor used to refer to first time writers, as in writers of their first books, with an eye roll. A kind eye roll, but an eye roll all the same. And now that I am on book 3, I know why. I don’t think my editor can solve all my book’s problems. I don’t think my agent can, either. I know that it takes a long time to write a book and that it takes daily, steady work. I do not think that I could re-wire a house. I wonder why people think they can write books.

After that exchange, I bought 5, yes 5, large chocolate bars (organic chocolate caramel crunch) from the startled health food store lady, just to cope.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 8, 2011 8:19 pm

    Charlotte, I have several things to say and it’s late here so forgive me if I say nonsense somewhere on the way.
    The first (and irrelevant thing) I opened my blog now REALLY wanting to read a post of yours, hoping there would be a new one and here it is! I didn’t want to sound like a freak but I had to, it’s such a coincidence.

    The second ( and more relevant thing) is that people will always say so to somebody who fulfilled the dream they once got scared of. And I’m sure you know it. He said it to hurt you( even if not consciously) , he thought it would make him feel better. It didn’t.

    The third thing – there are people who are either too stupid or too sick to say a normal thing to a person they know. Then they would say something nasty no matter what job you have.

    The forth thing – yes, you do have a real job and it’s a pretty difficult one. It’s not only about being genius with words and not only about working with your inner world, which is already very hard, it’s also about strict schedules, discipline, self-control.

    I’m sure you knew that all yourself. I just thought it’s sometimes good to know that there are other people who know the same things that you do.

    I’m off, good night. I hope I didn’t write too much nonsense.

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