It takes a special kind of sick to be a writer


Doing it the
hard way.

As I sit through the 3am toothache with Viszla mutt at my feet, I contemplate a couple of replies I’ve written on other peoples blogs within the past few days. Yes, I’m waiting for the sleep fairy called Ibuprofen to work.

I love writing my way through life. It gave me back my humor, the discovery of thought, feeling, scents and sights I’ll not see again except through the written word. To write is to breathe life into words. To keep the words inside you is as deadly to the soul as constipation is to the body. From my perspective, the dust of life constantly accumulates, which requires constant cleansing of the soul. Maybe I should draw a circle on my computer and write next to it in elegant cursive, “The enema tube goes here?”

In one dismal writing course I endured, the instructor said–with all the enthusiasm of the last person standing outside in a Russian breadline in February, “Writing is hard work.”  That was the point I should have walked out the door and asked for my money back.  She ended up to be the female version of Ben Stein’s classic role in Ferris Bueller’s day off.   Does anyone remember that role? Anyone? Anyone?

As I enjoy the soft fur of my favorite cur, I remember the words of Erma Bombeck when she was asked which of her children was her favorite.  Her answer? “The one that’s sick.” You might wonder where that came from.  It was a comment to a writer by someone who had just read his work: “You’re one sick mother^%)#&r.”

Look at the realities of the writer’s life:

  • If you can’t wallpaper an entire room with your rejection letters, you’re not a serious writer.
  • The old cliche, “It’s 95% who you know and 5% what you know” is absolutely true. Get over it or go find a job in food service.
  • You can’t not write, even if it’s to say, “I’m so frustrated! I have writer’s block!

As I’ve mentioned (more than once), if you’re over the age of 5 live on Earth and are still alive, you’re insane.  But it does take a special kind of insanity to be a writer.

I think that’s why some of my favorite people are writers.