I was watching Cspan last night after a very long day of writing.
One of the writers on a panel said, (paraphrasing): "All it takes to be a writer is to be alone in a room for a very long time."
It's a very odd experience. Probably not all that healthy mentally or physically.
Then again, I think giving your creative urges the chances to bloom is very healthy. I've decided that lots of people are creative, and lots of people are talented, and lots of people have the desire -- but most of them never get around to making the commitment for any number of reasons.
Its easy to dabble in creativity, but to fully commit is a much bigger sacrifice. I'm fortunate that I'm at a point in my life where I can make that leap of faith. The store is doing well, my wife is very supportive -- she's doing the same thing, actually. (We met in a writer's group 30 years ago, both of us writing fantasy.)
I'm not sorry I spent all my creative energy on the store all these years. I was immediately rewarded for my efforts, it provided a living -- at times -- and it gave me independence. The store reinforced my positive tendencies, socialized me, kept me engaged. Writing would have reinforced most of the negative tendencies, and might not have turned out so well.
Besides, I'm making up for lost time. I wrote the most words yesterday that I think I've ever written in one day. Every book I finish just reinforces the notion that I can do this.
Whether I can do it successfully remains to be seen. It's a little like working full time on a job for six months or a year on your own hoping that someone will like what you've done and pay you for it.
To be honest, I don't think I'd have the guts to do it if I hadn't published those three books. I'd be so full of doubt, it would paralyze me. I was naive back then, and got lucky, but it is an indication that I'm not completely wasting my time.
As I said, the more I write, the better I think I get, the easier it gets -- the more I write -- and so on.
Meanwhile, I'm alone in a room.
3 days ago