I have learned over the years that complaining about the writing job part of my life to my friends who don't write is fairly futile and also hugely annoying to them, like the constant buzz of gnat you can't quite squash. "The publicist didn't return my email," I say. "I am bereft."** And they hear 'publicist' and stop listening. Or utter up a "But you love what you do! It's your dream come true!" and then I shut up because yeah, I do. And yeah it is. Really. And it is nice to have friends who believe I am higher up on the author food chain than I actually am. If they think I am living the high life, then who am I to burst their bubble?
**Note: I don't actually use the word bereft. But I could.
But just in case they ever want to know the truth about the dream they imagine, I'm sneaking the reality version in here today:
Dream Version #1: You get to work from home! That is awesome!
Reality Version # 1: I get to work from home! That is sometimes awesome because I don't have to wash my hair and somedays I don't have to wear pants. It is also sometimes boring and devoid of human contact unless I count the dog and the mail carrier.
Dream Version # 2: You must make so much money!!
Reality Version # 2: hahahaha. I still need and want various versions of the day job. (truthfully, I like it that way. I'm not a big 'put all your eggs in one basket' kind of girl!)
Dream Version # 3: You get to see your books in stores!
Reality Version #3: Okay. Yeah. That one is pretty damn thrilling.
Dream Version #4: You get to travel! You get to meet cool people.
Reality Version #4: Sometimes. And usually I pay for it. And yeah, I do. They may not remember me, but that's fine.
Dream Version #5: What an amazing, romantic way to earn a living!
Reality Version #5: Yes. It actually is. It is also basically me in dirty yoga pants typing, punctuated by me looking out the window, eating peanut butter, swilling coffee (or wine. or bourbon), sighing, and occasionally going off topic and Googling "The perfect taco." Somedays after eight hours, as the title of this post indicates, al I want is to binge something from the Bravo Channel/Andy Cohen produced oeuvre.
Mostly though? The real truth?
I am hugely fortunate to get to do something I love. I get to make up stories for part of my living. I have seen my books on shelves. People I don't know have told me they like my work. Or told me they didn't like it, which is also fine because I have learned that once a book is out there, it's no longer mine. It belongs to readers and they can like it or hate or fall somewhere in between or tell me it's the 8th worst book they have read this year or whatever. They can totally misunderstand what I was trying to do or they can see things even I didn't know I put it there. I love all of that. Because I am creating art!