For better or worse, I am a writer, both by trade and inclination. I think the biggest challenge for me in becoming a so has been making people understand that writing constitutes my “work.” At least once a week, I have to explain ( again) to a loved one or friend or total stranger that the essential part of writing as a career is to, y’know, write. They seem to think that the hours I spend scribbling, or typing, or relentlessly editing, or tearing out my hair and cursing the day I was born, are somehow “recreational” or “puttering around.” My greatest frustration with my new career path has been facing down the belief that not having a “9 to 5” means I don’t have a job, or that I don’t work. I understand that this is not a career path for everyone (particularly people who enjoy having money, consistent utility availability or access to meals that don’t include Ramen Noodles), but is it too much to ask that people who positively live for the glamour of sharing the same bit of carpet with a dozen or so other people every day for a set period of time understand MY choice?
Yeah, it’s a risk, but it’s not like I have dependents, or a mortgage, or a gaggle of employees whose fortunes must ride the same roller coaster as mine. I chose to postpone several of these things because I knew that I wanted to be a writer, and I wanted to make sure that it was going to keep the S.S. Claire afloat before I started taking on passengers. None of this matters, of course, when one is confronted with the question (usually asked with the eyes crinkled and the head cocked to one side), “But when are you gonna get a REAL job?”
News flash, sports fans: this IS my job. The pay is crap, the hours are long, and even modest success requires inordinate amounts of luck and grace, but I guess I’d rather risk a little car-living and Spicy Ramen poisoning than looking around some sad felt cube when I’m 60 and realizing I’ve given my life to building someone else’s dream.
My reason for telling you all of this is that no small part of the motivation behind my efforts lies in the knowledge that there are people in this world who are willing, even eager (!) to read the things sent to the surface by the monkeys who live in the basement of my brain. Those people are YOU, and your support for my erratic little venture has helped me down the path to where I want to be.
Three years ago today, I was an acerbic, reluctant techie who started a new blog – this one – in the hope of creating some sort of one-stop repository for all the nonsense I produce. 1100 days or so later, I’m still acerbic, I’m still scribbling, and I’ve managed to build a small band of loyal, if occasionally put-upon, followers, all of whom I adore with the heat of a thousand burning suns. The Faithful Horde is the best readership this side of the Crab Nebula,* and none of the weirdness known as Claire De Lunacy would be half as fun without you.
I’m looking forward to sharing this year’s guest posts with you. We’ve got hilarious commentary, witty insights, engaging short fiction, and a whole lot of awesome on the menu; I’m so glad you’re here to share it with me.
*You should see them on the other side!