Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Life Is How You See It

“Now look at them yo-yo's that's the way you do it
You play the guitar on the MTV
That ain't workin' that's the way you do it
Money for nothin' and your chicks for free
Now that ain't workin' that's the way you do it
Lemme tell ya them guys ain't dumb
Maybe get a blister on your little finger
Maybe get a blister on your thumb.”

More lyrics: http://http//www.lyricsfreak.com/d/dire+straits/#share

This song by Dire Straits has everyone thinking ‘we’, those who create music, write lyrics, or books have it made. One morning, a creative thinker can be in subzero weather, the first to hit the south since 1966, shoveling snow away from the front door so a trip to the car is feasible, and the next minute, in a Caribbean resort soaking up rays while motioning a cabana boy for another drink. How? It’s all in perspective. The mind has a way of tripping a fuse. You know the fuse I’m talking about, the one that turns on rose-colored glasses with rhinestone settings or darkens the world via a distorted lens. Or for a writer, that might be called ‘a muse’. ;)

To each his/her own.

How do you see the world? Glass half-empty, glass half-full, milk the cow or anger the bull?

Life is how you see it. And life for a writer is no different. Writers live the best life! Using imagination, a writer’s greatest tool, a writer can wield a therapeutic sword as an emotional outlet, hacking away worry, danger and physical or emotional injury with one swift motion, or countless crimes, armed only with a pen, a piece of paper and a string of well-strung words. ;)

Why write? Writers have a fanciful way of looking at the world. Some see the world filled with the divine or riddled with suspicion. But if you really want to be satisfied, write romance! Why? Romance writers live the dream. Prince Charming never fails to produce a happy ending, commonly referred to as an HEA (Happily Ever After). The Fearless Damsel or Lady In Waiting, no matter how old, or her background, ends up charmed and/or saved by the handsome Alpha male who has swept her off her feet with promises of protection and a forever love that can never be sated.

Ah! Talk of love, of sated love… Now I have your attention. ;) Yes, these are great reasons to be a romance writer. But as Susan Hatler said it best on Patricia Preston’s blog recently, “there are 10 things I love best about being a writer:”

1. Thinking is working.
2. Watching movies is working.
3. Reading is working.
4. Making things up is working.
5. Hanging with writers is working.
6. Commuting is two feet.
7. People-watching is research.
8. The dress code rocks (mainly sweats & slippers).
9. I can write anywhere (laptops travel).
10. The subjects to write about are endless.

You can find out more about Susan Hatler’s blog here: http://patricia-preston.blogspot.com/2010/12/guest-blogger-author-susan-hatler.html

Yes! Yes! Yes! Doesn’t it all make sense? Writers are always working, but the work, though it varies, can be an amazing array of wonderful ‘stuff’. Where else can you get by with staring at people, examining their accents, deciphering flaws and emotions, writing down tid-bits of conversation, shadowing a particular occupation, and/or traveling to experience and create the aura of a book’s setting, all in your pajamas?

Yes! Yes! Yes!
(Cue Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally) I have a thing for research books! My study is filled with them. My hubby can attest to the many museums we have frequented and the purchases made to fulfill my connection with the past. (Writing Historicals can make an historical romance writer ‘hysterical’ if curiosity hasn’t been sated.)

Yes! Yes! Yes! (Cue Frau Bleucher from Young Frankenstein~~
He... Vas... My... Boyfriend!)
[horse whinny]

Yes! We may not be moving refrigerators or lugging color TV’s, but we are doing what we love, even if we don’t happen to be getting paid for it— YET. As I sit deciphering my goals for 2011, with my trusty new calendar, I know there will be blisters on my little fingers and on my thumbs, but the effort will be well worth the price. And while I tap… tap… tap… away at the computer keys this year, I will keep Susan Hatler’s list nearby. Her list reminds me that Yes! I have a great job. I’m a writer and I’m going to live the BEST life yet.

2011 here I come!

What is your top 10 list for 2011?


  1. Reasons I love writing:
    1. The fact that I'm a writer annoys several of my family members.
    2. I can work in my pajamas.
    3. I can take a power nap any time of day.
    4. It's chic to be poor.
    5. I like saying I'm a starving artist.
    6. I love saying "my agent"
    7. I love saying "my editor"
    8. "When I write, I feel God's pleasure."
    9. Books can be counted off as an expense.
    10. It impresses my kids.

  2. Melanie, I LOVE your list, especially your #1. LOL! Got to be careful with how many naps a writer takes though. ;)

    That reminds me of The Garden Window with Johnny Depp!! Riveting!

  3. My list has been absorbed by my process--it is currently part of a swirling vortex of entropy in my head... No, really, what other job will allow you to fly by the seat of your pants? Gotta love it!

  4. Work, work, work... You know, nobody warned me that once I started writing for real, every form of media would turn into something for me to dissect and study. Entertainment will just never be the same to me. I can't decide if that's good or bad. >.>

    Way to go Melanie! :) I look forward to being able to relate to that list some day.

  5. Crystal, flying by the seat of your pants can be great if you're a panster. But as a half-breed, I'm not sure I want to get caught up in a swirling vortex of entropy. LOL! ;)

    RedPeril, so good to see you here. I agree wholeheartedly that writers just don't know what they've signed on for when they start writing and learning the business. Might scare a new writer away if he/she knew everything right off that bat. I know I probably had the deer in the headlights look when I first started, and I didn't know much of anything. LOL!

    Entertainment has sure taken on a different look for me too. It's so hard to watch movies these days without discovering the plot early on or becoming aggravated by how the characters interact with each other. I have to try and turn off the part of my brain that wishes the writer had done things differently. Sometimes it's hard.

  6. I haven't got my list together yet but the first thing on it will be to invest in some BUTT GLUE!! That's the main problem with my writing is finding the time to actually sit still for a few minutes without jumping up to go to the stove, sink, washer, dryer, etc... This week's been a wash out with all the Bowl games on. We're college football fanatics but everything should settle down back to normal after Auburn wins. :-D

    Love the post Kathy but now I'll be singing that darn song all day! lol

    Love the list Melanie!

    Crystal, I seem to have that very same swirling vortex thing going on too!

  7. My top 10 reasons I love writing romance:

    1. I get paid to make stuff up.
    2. I get to travel to cool places and write it off as research.
    3. The things you can deduct from your taxes are amazing! Books, cable, internet, travel, mileage. Love that.
    4. The thrill I get every time I have a new release. It does not get old.
    5. Sometimes, people treat me like a celebrity. I'm not, but it's funny when it happens.
    6. I LOVE what I do. There's nothing more gratifying than writing about a tough alpha male brought to his knees by love. Oh, the yummy!
    7. I can work all day without getting dressed.
    8. Everything is research.
    9. The cool writers I've met by doing this job.
    10. I feel like I won the lottery.

  8. Here's my top 10 list.

    1. Writing has brought great friendships into my life.
    2. I get to research and visit museums and call it work.
    3. I get to live in the past.
    4. I'm a costume designer like my idol Edith Head from the days of vintage Hollywood.
    5. I design my own sets.
    6. I travel to exotic locales in my pj's/sweats, where I know everybody and they don't care if I have make-up on.
    7. As a perfectionist, rarely content with anything I do, I control my character's worlds... well sometimes... that is... if they let me.
    6. Writing satisfies my creative urges.
    7. I can be excentric and nobody wonders why!
    8. My achievements bring a sense of euphoria nothing else brings.
    9. I get to go to conferences, workshops, and retreats where I can network with vivacious people who understand the voices in my head.
    10. Writing is better than seeing a Psychiatrist.

    There you have it. My list! Come on everybody, share what you love about being a writer. :D

  9. Sherry, when you find the Butt Glue, pass along the details. I've got to start measuring up to standards I've set for myself. I'm poised to start next week, after #4 is back to school and things settled down.

    Lynn, #4 on your list would be a dream for me. But no matter what happens in my career, I LOVE your #6. Writing is ALL THAT and MORE!

  10. I'm going to give 5 since I am only half.

    1. I don't have to go out in bad weather to get to work.
    2. I set my own pace.
    3. I can "write" while in a group of people who are boring.
    4. I know when I've done a good days work and when I miss the mark.
    5. Writing makes me supremely happy.

  11. Jean, I can't wait to see how Stephanie finishes your top 5 list! I like being able to set my own pace, so your #2 would definitely have to go on my top #20 list. ;)

  12. Well, here is the other 5 of the list started by Jean. The views expressed here are my own and Jean shares no responsiblity or liability.

    1. I get to tell people what to do.
    (I mean the people our stories, not Jean)
    2. I can always have a Happily Ever After.
    (This doesn't always happen in reality so it is especially nice!)
    3. There is now a purpose to all the stories I make up about the people I met everyday.
    4. Love, love, love that all the books I read, movies I watch, cable and internet are tax deducible.
    5. I have made some great friendships and grown closer to others through the organizations I joined to become a better writer!

  13. LOL! That's too funny, Stephanie!

    Telling people what to do is always fun. ;) And your #2 is the best thing EVER. Nothing compares with writing that HEA.

    And I'm humbled by the friendships I've made here at the Tulip Tree.

    Blessings to all of you!

  14. Love your post, Katherine. The tap, tap, tap actually warmed my heart as I sit here in Panera, sipping my coffee, working and reading your blog. Let's add comforting clicky keyboard sound to our list...it'll be our top one-hundred, thousand, then million in no time. The glass is definitely half full.

  15. I will slide in here late.....I always am. My favorite 10 things that I like as a writer:

    1. I can give voice to the stories in my head and in my dreams.
    2. I can work alone when I want to (Did I tell you I have hermit tendencies?)and be flexible (to a point)
    3. I can delete what I don't like
    4. I can work anywhere.
    5. Reading/watching movies, and even music are what I consider part of research.
    6. I only have myself to blame if I do not make my goals...I hold the ultimate reigns.
    7. I enjoy that everyone has a story.
    8. I get to meet all sorts of wonderful people-who write all sorts of genres at workshops, online, and at conferences.
    9. Its a constant learning process.
    10. For me, the greatest gift is some of the writing people I have met (and some I don't know-yet!) that have influenced my writing, enriched my life. I wouldn't be the same without them nor would my writing have gotten this far.

  16. Susan! So glad you found me. ;) As I said in Patricia's blog post, I LOVE your top 10 list.

    Gotta love the comforting clicky keyboard sound too, especially when the taps are quick and the words are flowing freely. ;)

    Mary, you've got a great list posted here. I am very partial to #'s 2, 4, and 9. We never stop learning about writing! Just as our tastes change, so does the business and/or genres. To be flexible is to have a career that will soar. :D

  17. May ALL of our words flow freely! Sounds like the begininng of another list. Top 10 ways you know you've rocked your writing day.