I read a lot of blogs these days about writing for profit whether as a freelancer, ghostwriter, author, or professional blogger, but I want to remember, today, that I write for the love of it. Of course making money at what you love to do is probably one of the most fantastic jobs on the planet and so all hail to that concept. My point, however, is that I can still play like a kid in a playground, by writing, and I never want to lose that.
When I log into my writing and role-play site every day I’m stepping into another world where the writing is for the sheer play of it. I can slip out of my everyday worries and cares, put aside that tired old hat, and don something a lot more colorful. Crafting a sentence to convey the thrill of old west gunfight or two starships in a firefight to my readers, knowing how they’ll react and enjoy and then want their turn to respond and react, is a true pleasure. One of the greatest thrills of writing collaborative fiction, for me, is that interaction.
A couple of my friends are published authors. I know well the hard hours that they put into their work. Both of them work as much as they can, banging away at their laptop keyboards. CG works late, after his day job, alone in his room. PL works from the moment he opens his eyes on the day, and it’s seldom that he’s seen out of doors. For both they are in a very lonely profession. They seldom get feedback on their work until they are ready to submit it to the agent or editor. Even once the books are published they have to wait for book readings or the e-mails of fans to get any kind of response.
I’m not knocking the lonely life of the author. I would easily trade my day job for the chance to work at home at my own pace every day creating deathless prose, but I also think I actually enjoy writing than either of my published friends. Of course they are passionate about writing, but for them it’s often a true “labor” of love. It’s hard work and discipline. When I start to write it’s pure play (even if I whine about “owing” posts). I get to playact some part and when I’m done, hit the post button; I get to socialize with my fellow writers who give me instant feedback.
PL, when I can get him to remember that life is fun too, actually comes to Pan Historia to write for simple play. I can get him to admit, at times, that he gets a kick out of it, even though he claims he does it just to be a good sport. I guess it’s just a little like when he was a kid and he wrote his little stories in little handmade books he made. It was, of course, a bit challenging to get him to learn to play well with others after years of being the sole author and in control. I think he got the concept that you can’t kill off someone else’s character without their permission, but it took a while to wean him off of putting words in their mouths! He was far too used to having it all his own way with all of his own characters. Sadly I can’t get CG to come and play. He says he just doesn’t have time between the day job, writing at night, and having to do all his own PR these days. He says if he came to play he might have too much fun and forget to do the hard stuff!