When I decided that I was at the point in my life where I wanted to work on developing my writing skills, in the hopes of one day having my writing acknowledged by an audience, I had my own ideas as to what the life of a writer would consist of. The older I got, the clearer it became that unless you are the next Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien, or Stephanie Meyers, the life of a writer is much the same as the life of anyone else. Here's a comparison of how I imagined the life as a writer would be versus the reality of it.

 

PERCEPTION: The words flow effortlessly and inspiration is never-ending. Your muse (if you have one) is ever present and whispering beautiful stories in your ear, almost faster than you can write.

REALITY: Sometimes I can lose an entire day staring at a blinking cursor on my phone, tablet, or computer.

 

PERCEPTION: Each time I completed a piece of writing I would fall in love with it and be excited to showcase it to everyone I know.

REALITY: I try not to read back over my completed writings because of the inevitable cringing session that will follow.

 

PERCEPTION: I would write on a fancy laptop while sitting at a table in a quaint coffee shop lulled by the soft sounds of silverware clinking, the aroma of fresh brewed coffee and the view of artsy-type people. 

REALITY: I hand write most everything I produce while sitting in my bed, still in my pajamas, while my two daughters have an endless screaming match that usually consists of the phrase "Stop looking at me!" being repeated at least 145 times in less than an hour. There's never the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Ever. 

 

PERCEPTION: I would become so inspired by my writing that I would go on a book reading binge to appreciate the words and styles of other writers, finally clearing at least two-thirds of my constantly accumulating "To Be Read" list with the idea that in order to write well, I must read a lot. 

REALITY: I have more unread books on my "To Be Read" list than I'm going to admit to. I think I'm an e-book hoarder. I may have a problem.

 

PERCEPTION: I would have the opportunity to travel the world and write in some of the most beautiful places known to man. 

REALITY: I have traveled out of state once in the ten years I have lived in Texas. As stated above in Perception #3, I do all of my writing in my bed. Sometimes I write in my car while I am on lunch break at my day job.

 

PERCEPTION: My personal journal would be full of inspiration and exploration of the beautiful life of an aspiring writer. It would be intricate and encouraging and motivating.

REALITY: Every other day I read a past entry and realize that it could be perceived as incriminating evidence in some cases. I have started and discarded about as many journals as I have unfinished ebooks on my To Be Read list.

 

The journey of nourishing my passion of becoming a published writer is not always wine and roses. More often it is a Family Size bag of Lays Original potato chips and a Cherry Pepsi. But I won't give up. I can't give up. Giving up on my writing would mean giving up on the only thing that I'm passionate about. And that will never happen. 

 

Published by Angie Birk