Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Random Thoughts

Normally at this time of year (my natal anniversary), I get all gloomy and start wondering what on earth I think I am doing, trying to make a career out of writing scholarly non-fiction (a notoriously poorly paid trade !), and then I wonder if I can go back to just reading books; although last year I did wonder if maybe I should just stick to subjecting my Blog readers to my rambling thoughts on books, instead of spending humungous amounts of time and energy in researching and writing lengthy essays on books I adore. This year, though, my birthday has come and almost gone, and I've not even vaguely entertained the idea of giving up my writing.

Why ?

Well, there are two reasons - and I'm afraid they're both pretty shallow. The reasons are money and fame (or notoriety if you prefer). You see, this year I shall be getting paid actual spendable currency for writing ! And, people are starting to know my name, and are starting to approach me for the knowledge/expertise that I hold in my head and have been building up for the last five years.

It's not a vast amount of money - and it's no one really famous - but they're both an acknowledgement of what I've spent the past five years working really hard at. For those who haven't yet guessed or realised, almost all of my spare time when I'm not doing my "day job" or sleeping (and I don't do vast amounts of the latter), is spent in reading primary material (novels and short stories), writing, researching secondary material (in print and online), corresponding with authors, critics, fans, and publishers, and thinking; I do a lot of my thinking whilst doing my household chores - Sunday mornings are particularly good in that respect !

Some people with whom I work or talk, but who have little or no idea about what a writer does, have accused me of having a dull life. And I guess that compared to their endless diet of drinking, watching TV, going out and socialising, my life must look very dull indeed. But you know what ? I'm actually happy with it, thank you. Sure, I could use a bit more cash so I can afford to move out of my tiny, book-filled-to-almost-overflowing attic, but otherwise, this year, I've no regrets at taking up the writing life.

9 comments:

Kelly said...

Happy, Happy Birthday, Michele!

We'd never want you to give up the writing life :)

Cheers from across the pond!

Kelly said...

Oh, and just let me add that you deserve every bit of recognition and success that comes your way and more. Here's to it ever growing.

Michele said...

Thanks Kelly - for both the wishes and the comments about not wanting me to give up, and deserving the recognition and success.

Lee said...

I can't offer you money or fame, but I can provide the appreciation. I've noticed how your blog has developed, with your insights and critical skills always deepening. My birthday wish for you is that your reading and thinking never stop - though a bit of cash, and the health to enjoy it, are not to be despised.

Happy Birthday, Michele!

Michele said...

Thanks very much Lee... I particularly appreciate the fact that you say you can see development in Blog writing... I'm aware that some of my early posts were rather hesitant as I was worried about being thought pompous or elitist !

Sheila said...

I said it privately, but I'll say it publicly too - happy birthday! I hope you had a good one. I'm also glad that you are writing; I enjoy reading your posts, and I learn a lot from you. Keep up the writing, and don't worry about what other people think. I think your life sounds great! Besides, you have friends all over the world! The people who say you have a dull life just don't know what they are missing!

Michele said...

Thanks Sheila ! I had a good day with my not-so-little younger brother...

And you're right - how many people can boast of chatting with the people they admire (in my case authors) - even when they're a whole Ocean away (eg. Garth Nix) ?

Nancy said...

Happy Birthday Michele! The blog is wonderful, and you deserve to revel in it.

Michele said...

Thanks Nancy !