Happy Writer – Oxymoron?

The "QWERTY" layout of typewriter ke...

Or am I just a moron?

I had a great day today. Didn’t have to go in to work. Got to sleep in for a change (normally up at 4:45 AM.) Spent time with my wife and daughter, who was at the sewing machine, learning how to hem pants. Played with the dogs, too. Several times. I even had time to write.

I finished chapter 6 of the novel. This is the re-write of the NaNoWriMo edition. I am adding structure, plot, as well as developing characters. You know, things people like to see when they read a book.

I also sent off a few story concepts to the illustrator. We will be having dinner on Monday (Indian food, as in = from the country) and hopefully we can agree on something. I am really excited about doing a graphic novel in a weekly serial format. I’d call it an Internet comic strip, but to me that implies something humorous, and not all of my concepts are funny.

So you know: Concept 1 involves humor. Concept 2 is satirical. And Concept 3 is hard-boiled Noir.

I’ll vote for any of them. I have a year’s worth of plots in my head for all three. Hopefully we can set a timetable for production. He has the site under construction already so that is half the battle. I will definitely share once we go live.

So the question remains. Can someone who is happy with their life be a successful writer? Or must we all be angst ridden, oppressed caffeine addicts who secretly wish that typewriters would make a comeback?

Maybe I’m not angst ridden or oppressed, but I do like my cup(s) of coffee and would it be all that bad if the typewriter became the machina de rigueur?

I think not.

Enjoy your weekend, you writers, for who knows, maybe next week you will want to climb into the attic and dust off that old Smith-Corona…



9 thoughts on “Happy Writer – Oxymoron?

  1. That’s a bit of a chicken and egg question. Do you have to be miserable to be a writer, or does being a writer make you miserable? Given that it’s one of the most insecure professions in the world, I think there is some argument for the latter 😉

    Then again, for most of us writing makes us happy as well. For a brief, flickering moment, once in a while.

    • For me, writing is a hobby. It’s fun, even when the stories don’t work out (and you will never see those, trust me!) If this was my profession? I suppose I would be fast tracking to miserable more often than not.

      Thanks for stopping by, reading and posting a comment!

  2. Writing and the miserable poet…depressed and alcoholic author…inventor of a fantasy world but a non-participating member of the real one…all things, and more, associated with writing! Sounds ominous. Why would anyone in their right mind, write? I have my difficult moments, sure, but I am mostly in a happy place in my writing life and drink pots of coffee no matter what I’m doing! The writing life doesn’t need to be angst filled, I believe, unless we tend to be that way in other areas of life as well. Maybe my outlook is too Polly-Annish.

    Let me go one further step–past the typewriter even. Just give me pencil and paper and I’m good to go. An eraser works pretty well, as do cross-outs and wadding the whole mess up and throwing it in the trash. I never was a fan of white-out!

    The thing with writing–you can reinvent your words everyday. The moment you sit down to write is a moment of discovery. You can also collaborate, such as you are doing now. Writing groups. Contests. Workshops. There is so much that draws writers to other writers. If I was a bundle of misery while writing, why would I want to do it and live in angst everyday?

    I think some just like to be miserable. Oh woe!

    • Well said. And the pots of coffee never hurt!

      Agreed. Some people just like to be miserable and then steer their writing in the same direction, i.e. dark, angst-ridden.

      I am no psychologist, but I have spent enough time in bars to know that some people stay in the noir world because it is easier than facing their true issues, some of which may not be within their own control. So they write; it may be the one thing they are in control of.

      Some of their work gets published, and then their story of overcoming adversity becomes well known. You just rarely hear of the happy person who becomes commercially successful. Maybe they are just happy to be happy.

      I am. And I am glad you are, too!

      Must be the coffee…

  3. I confess, I’ll take MS Word over my Smith Corona any day of the week. Though I do miss the ‘clack-clack’ of the keys….

    • We never had much with those clackety old typewriters, but then again, I remember the blue light of doom coming on the first time we were in the computer lab. And to think, my first arranging instructor at the Navy School of Music insisted we use a quil and India ink (pre-Finale days.) Tom Knox had it right when he said he only used pencil and paper to write. He left the technology to others, as long as they didn’t change anything he had written.

      • I remember reading a column by George Will stating that he always wrote with a fountain pen, as it required him to fully think through what he wished to say before saying it.
        Those beige Flair felt-tip pens worked well for Pete Vollmers…

      • When I taught ear training, I always used Pete Vollmers as the benchmark of success. I’d tell the story of how Pete would sit at the table, with a pen, and start writing out parts, not the score. When you can do that, you have “it.” I’ve met very few people like him, most of them his age or older.
        For my wordsmith friends, it’s like writing the final draft of your novel, in ink, in one shot, at one sitting.

  4. Pingback: writing about ANGST and other topics | Madeline Scribes

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