It occurred to me this morning, while heading out to my usual weekend spot on a day that happens to not be a weekend, that it’s almost like I’m a real writer just for the day. I know my definition of being a “real” writer changes depending on my mood—a “literary” writer, a “successful” writer, a “working” writer—but today I felt like a real writer would just write and do nothing else. A real writer would not have a day job, certainly not the non-creative day job I have. A real writer would, I don’t know, sashay out the door at whatever hour she found herself up and have creative visions while crossing the park, sip coffee leisurely while contemplating her first page, and then just pound out the brilliance, filling up pages and pages with those rich perfectly rhythmic sentences that make you want to read them out loud just to appreciate the shape of them, until she called it a day and went home. Sounds very realistic, no? I may as well aspire to float through life as a balloon animal.
But no, my point was that I have the day off from work today—national holiday and all—and I have writing deadlines, so today will be a good exercise in seeing how I would handle the life of a full-time writer. Like how serious can I be when I set my own hours and act as my own boss?
It’s 2:44 pm. So far today I:
Walked to my writing spot.
Put bag down, arranged stuff on desk.
Went out for coffee.
Came back. Rearranged stuff on desk.
Wrote maybe a page.
Went out for a walk. Excuse: birthday shopping.
Returned to desk. Wrote maybe another page.
Thought about doing the revisions an editor asked for as soon as possible. Felt nervous. Felt afraid. Decided to do it later this afternoon, when I feel more confident.
Stared at screen.
Bit friends on Facebook, making them vampires.
Wrote a few more pages.
Bit a friend, making him a zombie.
Went out again. Excuse: lunch.
Am back. Sitting here in this chair. Staring at my stiff pages. And all around me are working writers writing. Look at them go! I can tell for sure they’re not pretending.
Conclusion: I don’t know if I’m cut out for this. If this is a game of make-believe, I don’t think my heart’s in it today. So where do I sign up to be a balloon animal?