You know once in a while it occurs to me that what I do for fun and a living (not talking the day job) could be seen as a little silly or frivolous – this probably in my moments of existential funk when I ponder the fact that we all seem to be going to hell in a hand basket in my lifetime.
But it only takes a quick consideration on my part to remember that I happen to believe that one should embrace life when one has it and if life is better, for me, because I spend a great deal of in imaginative play-acting then why not? We all of us have our passions – or we all of us should have some passion in life. Mine is not to climb the Himalayas or invent better scuba gear. Don’t get me wrong: I would actually love to do all sorts of mad adventurous and important things, but that’s the beauty of being a writer and even more the beauty of being a collaborative writer. I get to create a spread of different worlds, different lives, and try them all out. I get to be soldier, sailor, peace officer, badass evil elf, star fight, you name it. I can expand my mind in all sorts of directions trying on each role for size.
Each time I write I try to learn from the time before letting the words and my imagination take me all over time, the globe, and even beyond. Over the years my proficiency as a writer has grown. Only yesterday, for my collaborative online novel The Midnight People, one of my fellow writers paid me the incredible compliment of being touched by a line of description. I have cultivated a hobby that allows me to practice daily the craft of writing, and no longer in the seclusion that is the torment of many writers (though often the bliss of others).
And the interesting thing about this journey, albeit one taken from the safety of my desk chair, is that it has had a profound and significant positive effect on the me that types this – the me that has to head to work in an hour or so and deal with bosses and paperwork and workday challenges. By trying on different ‘hats’ I have been able, finally, to slip into the me that suits me best, the most comfortable, the easy-going, the “yeah, no problem, I can do it”. I even know when to say “no” and not feel guilty.
It’s also a beautiful thing to sit down and want to talk about something important like animal rights, or writing, and be able to do so with some ease. Young animals play to learn. Adults can benefit from it too.