Every day is an adventure as a novelist and I’m completely in love with it – but every now and again something tugs at my heart strings and reminds me there are things I miss about NOT being a novelist. There aren’t many things, which is why this list is so short, but they are pretty big. Things that remind me that taking the step from lazy hobbyist to full time novelist was really a major lifestyle change wrapped up in the easy to swallow package of living my dream.
I’ve seemingly lost the ability to watch or read any kind of scripted/plotted entertainment at all. Any thing with a plot gets broken down and deconstructed endlessly (which also makes me terrible to take to the movies) and I just don’t seem capable of suspending disbelief anymore.
Now after a hard days work, best I can do when I turn on the television to unwind is *gasp* reality television. The trashier the TV the better, though I have not yet succumbed to the horror that is “Jersey Shore” I’m getting closer by the day.
4. The Confidence of the Oblivious
There’s many flavors of obliviousness. Mine was peculiar in that it had more to do with me never really putting anything serious on the line before than with any lack of research on my part (I love research). I’d never seriously reached for anything I wanted as much as I wanted to be a novelist up until a little while before I made this leap. Now I’m putting my heart on the line with every single word. It’s a weird sensation.
3. Casual Exercise
It used to take me about 30-45mins to arrive at the office. I’d do a speed walk over about a mile and hope a train, I’d probably go for a long stroll at least once in the city during the day and then after work I’d either head straight home (another mile of walking) or go out for a bit (on 1st Friday I could cover up to 10 miles easy don’t even get me started on a night out dancing or vising friends/family on the other side of the city).
Now, the commute to work is less than a minute (I keep a laptop right beside the bed and usually open it before I open my eyes). Now if I want exercise (and a body this hot demands it) I’ve got to make time in my schedule and commit to exercise with a capital “e.” After each sweaty, absolutely exhausting session I remember those long walks to and from work with heart crunching nostalgia.
2. Having Time Off
I don’t know if this applies to every other novelist but I never seem to be done working. Even when I turn the computer off and walk away from my notes at the end of the day my mind is always chewing it’s metaphysical cud. Gnawing on ideas, plot points, names and new stories. It never ends.
1. Steady Income
Can’t forget this one, though I’m making a bit from my novels it’s not yet enough money to pay a single one of my outstanding bills or steady enough to count on. I am very lucky that I have the kind of support that I do that allows me to devout myself to my dream. Still not being able to contribute to the household finances in any meaningful way wears on you very quickly.