21st August 2015
I am always waxing lyrical on this blog about heavy stuff, mostly because that's what keeps me up at night: Scotland, the state of the universe, the state of book publishing and where I fit into that. So I thought this week I'd lighten up (I'm a writer, so I have to be reminded to do this - especially when someone asks me how I am doing, and I take that for a real question.)
There's a lot of mythology surrounding the life of a writer. A lot of it has to do with whisky, which is just so much posturing, if you ask me. You can't write good literature if sozzled. You just can't. A lot of it has to do with living up to that reaction you get when you tell someone you have a published book.
But it's all bubbles.
Here's the reality of being a writer. The first thing is bums on chairs: every day, same time, and it isn't always going to look like you're actually doing anything. Ask my husband. Writing is sort of like the universe: only 5% of it is stuff and the rest is either dark energy or dark matter.
The next thing is that you are incredibly difficult to live with. Ask my husband. If you're engaged in writing something long like a novel, you can't really discuss it, for fear it sends the muse scurrying off. But the pressure of holding all this in looks something like my pressure cooker when I get distracted, as I often do (because I am a writer), and forget to turn the heat down.
Not writing may be even worse: you're like a bicyclist in the Tour De France that someone has accidentally locked in the toilet.
Well, that's about as light as I get. Just be glad you're not married to me.