PhotobucketAs a writer, it’s all too easy to focus on what’s going wrong. You can’t wrench the plot into shape; the deadline is looming and you have a million tasks to juggle; your publisher or agent doesn’t believe in your beloved project; your computer died; the dog ate your manuscript. Or you are struggling with a lack of self-belief. The life of a writer is potholed with angst. We sometimes need a reality check in order not to wallow in it.

After a week of emotional highs and lows, I decided I would make a list of the good things about being a full time writer. I plan to take this out and look at it every time I catch myself whining about how hard it all is during the busy year ahead. I figure the good bits must outweigh the bad. We love writing, don’t we? If we didn’t, why would we keep on doing it? Here’s my list:

Juliet’s good things about being a writer, in no particular order:

– Being your own boss; being in control
– Managing your own work time
– Being able to work more or less anywhere: inside, outside, on a plane, in a café, in bed
– Being paid to dream
– Access to caffeine at all times while working
– Tax-deductible research travel
– Characters who spring to life and surprise you on the page
– Being able to live in more than one world
– Continuing to learn and grow through your work
– Serendipitous discoveries that spark off brilliant new ideas (often made in unlikely places, such as the pages of a dusty research book or the aisles of a supermarket)
– Sharing your stories, characters and ideas with readers; communicating something worthwhile; touching others
– Losing yourself in the story, like Alice down the rabbit hole
– Felicitous moments in the writing – the bits you revisit, thinking, “Did I really write that? Wow!”
– The satisfaction (tinged with sorrow, as it’s a goodbye) of finishing a ms
– The thrill of starting a new project
– Sharing your work chair with a dog – who wouldn’t want that small, warm presence guarding her back?
– Last but not least, earning a living doing something you really love despite all the bad parts.

What are your good things about being a writer?



About Juliet Marillier

Juliet Marillier has written nineteen novels for adults and young adults as well as a collection of short fiction. Her works of historical fantasy have been published around the world, and have won numerous awards. Juliet's new novel, Tower of Thorns, will be published in October/November 2015. Tower of Thorns is the second book in the Blackthorn & Grim series of historical fantasy/mysteries for adult readers. The first Blackthorn & Grim novel, Dreamer's Pool, is available from Roc US and Pan Macmillan Australia.