Currently Reading: I'm up to Ch 16 on No Holds Barred. I think I'm about halfway through it; this is a long one!
This week on The Grip, they are discussing why we writers write. Is it for money or is it for love? Some of us are lucky enough that we actually get paid for the words we write, and others are stuck in the 'I write because I love it' phrase.
Meaning, of course, 'I'm not getting paid yet, but that's okay; my time will come soon enough.'
I'm making a little money; it's not made me financially secure; I still depend heavily on the spouse's paycheck, and we drive older cars which frequently need serviced. And for the most part, living paycheck to paycheck. But hey, that's life. And with two teenagers and a little one, my contributions help out. I've paid for oil changes, extra food in the house, gas in the cars, and every once in a while I even get to put my tiny royalty checks toward promtional items or travel expenses.
But as to WHY I write? That's easy. I HAVE to, otherwise my brain will explode.
An idea will pop into my head, or suddenly I'll have two characters arguing, or one person telling me their story. Sometimes by the third time through their monologue/argument (and yes, they often keep repeating themselves!), I'll have finally gotten the hint to either grab a notebook or open a blank document.
Here's a taste of what went through my head last year (and yes, I happened to be cooking dinner!):
“This is only for one meal, Marc, so don’t get all bent out of shape.” Amber kept her concentration on the stove.
Roger and June gaped at her. Marc drew himself up to his full six foot, three inch height, reaching Amber in two quick strides.
“Can I speak to you in private?” His voice dropped an octave.
Amber defiantly raised her green eyes against his onyx ones. “Just a moment; let me take this off the heat.” She turned her attention back to the stove. “Wouldn’t want dinner to burn and irritate you even more,” she said coolly. The food tended to, she lifted her chin and looked at him. “Well?”
A muscle twitched beside his right eye. “I said in private.” He grasped her arm and steered her to the pantry.
“I’m perfectly capable of walking by myself,” she said forcefully, wrenching her arm away and preceding him into the shelf-lined room.
“What the hell are you trying to pull?” he hissed.
“What am I trying to pull? Nothing, Marc! All I’m doing is filling in so your little dinner party is a success.” Amber balled her fists at the insult.
“You’re not even in the right attire.” His dark eyes blazed in contempt as he took in her appearance. “And what kind of chef wears dangly earrings when she’s on the job?”
“Oh, you like them? It just so happens I was at a family function when Ruth frantically called me. Don’t worry; I won’t leave the kitchen or embarrass you in any way,” she said with a touch of sarcasm. “I came here to do a job; if you’ll pull that stick out of your ass and let me go back to work, your dinner will be coming off the stove in a few moments.”
His jaw flexed. “Stick up my—Damn it Amber!”
“And I suppose you never broke any rules? Oh wait—I seem to recall a moment when you were caught with your pants around your ankles in the locker room.” Amber gritted her teeth and crossed her arms.
Marc’s face darkened. “That was a long time ago. I’m not that person anymore.”
“Too bad. We might have actually been good for each other.” She followed the lines of his gray suit with her eyes. “But no, you just had to become another corporate clone.”
That eventually turned into All She Ever Wanted, by Kenzie Michaels. (Available at http://www.freyasbower.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=7&products_id=208 ...yeah, a little shameless self-promotion never hurt anyone!) And to be fair, the descriptive parts didn't get put in until after I'd written the arguement. Chuck tweaked my descriptive words so they came across better than the way I originally had them (a big Thank You...did I mention my weakness is description?) and thankfully he understood the scene as I was 'seeing it' in my mind's eye.
Sometimes you get lucky and the words you write are snapped up by a publisher. And sometimes it takes years. I've done both, and am waiting to hear back from my publisher concerning my next Kenzie book. If she likes it, hopefully I'll get some money out of it. If not, then I'll keep trying.
And in the meantime, my house is slowly getting whipped into shape and the 'voices' in my head are beginning to mumble. When they start letting me hear what they're saying, I'll be ready. Otherwise, life with me will be unbearable until I'm able to get it out of my head.
What about you? Do you love what you do and can't believe you actually get paid for doing it?
Did you think I forgot, ha ha? Tonight we find out if there is indeed a plan to back-door Russell into eviction. Tune in tomorrow:)