Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A real writer

Even though I work in a crappy job, there are some small perks. Today, for instance, Mary Alice Monroe came in for lunch. If you don't know who she is, these are her books. In local literary circles, she, along with Dot Frank, Sue Monk Kidd, Anne Rivers Siddons, and Pat Conroy, are considered hot shit.

She looked like any other middle-aged woman: graying hair, a little tired around the eyes. No one else recognized her but me, which confirms my belief that the people I work with are semi-literate trogolodytes. Anyway, the point is when I realized who she was, I had to fight the urge to run up to her, grab her by the shoulders, and scream How do you do this? What's the secret? Tell me, tell me now!

I've never read any of her books but I know what they're like and I also know they're bestsellers. I know that these books allow her to live in a million-dollar beachfront home, same as the rest of those names up there. What I didn't know is how she did it, what the trick to it was. Hence, the urge to shake her senseless until she coughed up the goods.

I didn't though. I just watched her, eating and talking with her friends. She looked so normal, more like a lady who lunches than one who writes books. There was nothing extraordinarily special or mysterious about her, nothing that gave her away as a writer. Her fingers weren't covered in ink and she wasn't constantly scribbling in a notebook, taking down the most minute observations. She didn't have that panicky look that I get when I think about all the stuff I'm not writing. Frankly, it was pissing me off.

It didn't hit me until later that what made her different is that she sat down and did the work. She didn't dream it or wish it or talk about it. She just did it and she didn't let any of life's bullshit get in her way. That's the thing I need to work on, the focus, the determination. I've got ideas out the yinyang but ideas don't amount to anything if you don't do the work and they definitely don't get you million-dollar beachfront homes.

So, here is my proposal to you: whenever I start to whine or complain about how I can't write or I'm scared or I don't have time or whatever, please feel free to tell me to shut the hell up and get to work. I won't hold it against you. In fact, it may make me feel all warm and snuggly towards you. Trust me, you'll be doing us all a favor.


Blogger Susan said...

OK, now I feel like a troglodyte because I have never heard of this writer. But now I'm interested.

5/04/2006 11:08 AM  
Blogger Writing Blind said...

I don't know if she's well known nationally but around these parts, she's pretty popular.

5/04/2006 1:08 PM  
Blogger Writing Blind said...

And plus, I just work with a bunch of morons so don't feel bad.

5/04/2006 1:08 PM  
Blogger J Malcolm said...

Deal, could someone do that to me to?

5/04/2006 3:27 PM  

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