24 January 2019

What Would I do if I Couldn't be a Writer?

If I couldn't be a writer, I'd have to think back to the beginning of my career, when I was first published in 2009. From the moment I got the phone call from my then publisher, my whole world changed. I'd been reading romance novels for a long time, even writing my own blurbs to stories I thought up...and now I a lifelong dream had taken root. Being a writer is all I had ever wanted to do with my life, and I was determined I wouldn't be a one-book wonder.

Unfortunately, you only make money by writing more and more books. It takes a while for a writer to build up their backlist as well their reputation. I had to have a day job. I've worked in the medical field in various positions for about 26 years. I've been a surgical tech, a medical assistant, a histotech for a Mohs surgeon, and now I'm a pharmacy tech. If I couldn't be a writer, I'd be working a thankless job without any way to siphon off my creativity. I think I'd been pretty miserable.

A writer isn't just a writer because we wake up one day and decide to string a bunch of words together. Storytelling is in our souls. It's who we are, not just what we do. It's probably the only profession where having conversations with imaginary people is perfectly acceptable and doesn't make us insane.

I do have a Plan B, and that's what I'm doing now. Working in a pharmacy, standing on my feet for 10 hours a day, hoping my muse doesn't strike during my time in work hell. One day I hope to break free and devote all my time to writing. For now, however, for forty hours a week, I schlep to work in light blue scrubs and fill prescriptions. So if I couldn't be a writer, I'd probably be doing this same old thing, and living vicariously through the books of authors I wish I could be.

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