Ask A #Writer: Is It Worth It To Be One?

Ask a Writer

Ask a Writer

Asked and answered on Quora.

The Original Question: Is it worth to be an author?

It’s the best thing ever, but not for the reasons you think.

1) Your time is your own. You can wake up when you want to, sleep when it suits you, and you don’t let a clock define your day. Who cares if that puts you out of sync with the rest of the world? God’s honest truth is writers write because the worlds in our heads are far more attractive than the mess outside our windows.

2) You have far fewer clothing costs.
I got laid off from the cubicle company in 2011 and since that first summer when I bought three pairs of shorts, three workout pants, and assorted t-shirts my clothing costs have gone way down. Every once in a while I replace an item, but there is no longer any crushing need to buy business attire at a few hundred bucks a pop. Whew! Because I sucked at that.

3) Your transportation costs are way lower.
Aside from the occasional convention or trip to “gather background information,” I don’t have to go a damn place I don’t want to. No more 2 hour commutes each day because of bumper-to-bumper traffic on Connecticut roads. I’ve paid cash for two old clunker cars in seven years for less than $2,500 and while one died a natural death, the other keeps me going to the store, or doctor’s appointments or to any of the 54 state parks in Connecticut I care to visit. Since I have no pride and drive little old lady cars, my car insurance is rock bottom cheap.

4) I go to the beach anytime I want to and weather permits, otherwise—

5) I work from my bed and in any state of dress, I so choose.

6) You get to avoid most people and let’s face it, that’s a win, win.
Have you noticed how much people suck nowadays? Maybe it’s my crotchety old age but I’m very tired of the lack of civility, the narcissism ,and the raw “truth telling” that passes for conversation. No, I do not want to hear about how Jane dissed you to Travis and how you want to rip her eyes from her sockets. Nor do I care to discuss the storytelling intricacies of your latest video game obsession. If I wanted to do any of that I would go onto Facebook, and I tell you I’m spending less and less time there. As long as I pay my bills and keep my head down I can pretend that people are nice and have each other’s best interests at heart. That does way more for my blood pressure than my Atenolol.

7) Living in your own fantasy world. (See 6.)

8) You can see the world from your armchair. Go internet. I’ve learned more about the world since I started writing 4 years ago than in my forty years in the workplace. Each day carries the adventure of exploration.

9) You get to challenge yourself with meaningful and creative work that stretches your mind and taxes, er, I mean, exercises your patience, fortitude, self-discipline, and your use of the Oxford comma. Win, win.

10) Because, maybe, just maybe, when you are done you’ve created something that entertains, educates, or enlightens another human being and you’ve made their day a little better just for what you wrote.

Otherwise, the pay is awful, deadlines are a constant source of irritation, your boss (yourself) is a relentless slave driver. Also, you must pay your taxes quarterly with an annoying gush of paperwork that you can keep at pay by paying an accountant or using an online bookkeeping program.

As I said., the best thing ever.

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