The Next Chapter

So I have some decisions to make. Big ones. Like what kind of work I want to do. And how I want to do it. At my age, and with my background you’d think I’d have a good handle on this. In some ways I think that I do, but on the other hand, there are a lot of doors open just now, and I feel just a little like a kid in the candy store. I have my allowance to spend on anything that I want but I need to choose before the store closes or the good candies are picked up by someone else.

I have considered a million options and chucked most of them out, fostered a couple but then I do not make a decision and start working on a couple more.

The thing that I do keep coming back to is writing. The clickety clackety of the keys, the rhythm of my fingers. The emergence of words in the window screen of my computer, softly lit and mesmerizing.

“Wow, you’re an author? That’s so cool,” people say, sometimes wistfully. “I have a book inside just waiting to get out! I just can’t get it started/find the time/get past the first chapter.”

No, I am not an author, I think to myself. Not a writer, surely. Until a friend of mine introduced my as a writer, I had not considered it as gainful occupation for me. It’s true that I have written many things for previous employers, and for myself one project was a novel.

Writing, for me, is a lot of work. And a lot like work. Writing manuals, policies, training programs, articles, newletters and books takes a lot of energy. It isn’t all about being romantic and sitting by a window waiting for the muse to strike. It isn’t holed up in a log cabin with a fireplace blazing and steaming hot chocolate beside me (although that does sound nice, doesn’t it?). It takes focus and dedication, as well as a willingness to talk yourself into doing things that you don’t always want to do, which can happen with any job. I remember sitting in my former office and needing to create an entire program, but abandoning it to sort through my rolodex and enter all the contacts on my PDA. The program itself was not just daunting, but uninspiring. I am sure that people thought I had lost my marbles (oh wait – I had lost my marbles!).

The novel was a lot of fun to write. When I first started really working on it, I travelled out of town for a conference and tacked a few vacation days on afterward to work on my book. The wind blew relentlessly outside and the windows rattled (it was hurricane season, and a busy one at that). I got to know the guy who delivered room service, and he got to know that I really enjoyed the risotto. His name was Adam. I got a good chunk of the novel written, and that was a lot of work too.

So I think for now that’s what I shall be doing, is writing. Lots of writing I hope, among other things (let’s see what pays the bills and then moves me into the lifestyle in which I intend to become accustomed).

Yours in words,

One who scribes (or scribbles as the case may be).

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