"What do you like to do?"
I hate that question.
It can be answered in so many ways.
"What do I like to do....when?" is often my answer.
When I'm bored?
For a job?
I find myself answering, "I'm a writer" to nearly all three.
"Wow. That's really cool," they say.
.I smile and nod.
They have no idea.
I started writing at the ripe age of six.
Some little piece about two squirrels fighting in my front yard for extra credit in my language arts class.
From that day on, everything became a story and the praise I got for the things I wrote down became a sick addiction.
I got a typewriter at the age of nine from some random old man walking down the street.
He had just moved to the area and was starting a free neighborhood publication and was looking for kids to contribute to the "Kid's Korner" section.
"You have a lot of talent." he told me and shook my hand like an adult.
I was hooked.
I wanted deadlines.
I wanted an editor.
I wanted my picture on the backflap of some best selling novel.
I had "Do Not Disturb" signs for my bedroom even way back then.
Now they usually have "unless you want to have your head bitten off" written in italics at the bottom of them.
Yes, the writer's life can be somewhat stressful.
I spent 23 years of my life not getting paid for what I do and just merely dreaming about it.
Nowadays, it's a different story.
I actually got off my ass and sent things out to publishers.
I actually looked for the freelance jobs.
I actually got myself started somewhere.
Now I have deadlines.
Now I have an editor.
Now I have "no time to work on my novel."
Now I have achieved zen.
But this is why we write, right?
Because we love it.
Plain and simple.
We accept the fact that some days our only friends will be a blank screen, a bottle of Jack, and a pack of Marlboros.
Our human friends have learned to accept the fact that when we're blocked and running against a deadline we tend to be more snappy.
When we get checks in the mail from writing and comments from readers on how great we are, we rejoice!
All the dreaming, hard work, and dedication....
All the sleepless nights....
All the blood, sweat, and tears....
It's all worth it in the end.
And you know it to be true, dear writer.
Or else you wouldn't be here.