Wearing Hats

I was recently asked in a Twitter PM what I do for a living. “Um, I live off the success of my first self-published novel Angst.  You believe that, right?”  Well, no, not really.  I would love nothing more than to spend all of my time writing Angst books and other stories (I have a few ideas), but the family needs to eat, and wear clothes, and sleep under a roof, so I work too. I’m wearing a lot of hats these days and I’ve always felt…uncomfortable discussing this on Twitter or this blog.

The Hats I Wear

My wife has said this is something to admire, working a 40-50 hour a week job, being a husband, father, and friend, and writing books too.  I guess for me it’s a separation of worlds.  I want to be thought of as a writer.  Well…I am a writer.  I guess it’s better stated that I want people to think of me being such an amazing writer that I can live off my writing and nothing else.  This isn’t true, I wear many hats and do my best to keep them from blowing off my head.

Karl Urban

Karl Urban in 3 roles
Karl Urban wears a lot of hats, like these three completely non-related roles. Vaako in Chronicles of Riddick = Eomer in Lord of the Rings = Dr. McCoy in Star Trek 2009. I’m usually quick to pick these things up, but when I read on Dark Horizons that he was going to play Vaako once again in a 3rd Riddick, I had to check out IMDb.  Wow.  That’s what I call versatile.  I always thought comedians, like Robin Williams became the most versatile actors.  This is an exception to that rule.

They Feed My Writing

It got me to thinking about the different roles I play.  I draw from a lot of sources in my life to write.  People that I like, people I don’t like, events I experience, all feed into my stories.  There is a scene in the first book where Angst shames a bully by continuously slapping him. This scene came together after a very, very bad day at work.  I really wanted to do that to someone, and wrote it instead.  Actually, I wrote it without even knowing that scene would make it into the book.  I’m glad it did because I really felt it shows that Angst is not perfectly heroic.

Wearing Hats

In spite of what I may tell you, I’m not perfect either. I’m not a wealthy individual, writing in secluded house with a cliff-side view of the ocean, pondering life’s mysteries…yet. I’m everyman, working, fretting, scrambling, and trying my damnedest to find the hat that fits best at any given moment. And since that feeds into so much of what I do, rather than hiding it, maybe I should embrace it. Maybe.

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6 Comments

Please share your thoughts

  1. Hi David—enjoyed your post and certainly agree that most of us are in similar positions, acting out our differing roles in life, and it's sometimes hard to keep the writer-role on a front burner.

    I was so interested to learn that the same actor had played both Eomer and McCoy! I'm a LOR fanatic, and hadn't yet picked up on that. I was blown away by the actor's capture of Dr. McCoy's personality.

    Good luck…I'm going to Amazon to look for "Angst" :)

  2. @Claudine – Thanks for saying so, I think now that I've started I would have a hard time not writing.

    @Marie – I'm glad you liked the post :) I know I don't do it for the money, I have to tell my stories, but I think many part-time writers would love to live off their writing. I'm just not certain I could, I draw a lot from my day-to-day life.

    @S.A. Thanks you, and it is a constant balancing act. Congrats and good luck with "Elanraigh"! If you pick up Angst, be sure to let me know what you think :)

    As for the Eomer – McCoy thing…isn't that something? I thought he did a great job with Trek, and didn't even recognize him as Eomer. I was geeked out by it!

  3. Hi David, I am a best-selling author trade published and I can't live off my writing either so I do other stuff, work at things which make me money too. But I don't think any work has less value than other work… think Fight Club for the kind of value ignored jobs have… Keep on writing, do the best writing you can do and publish yourself. and do it over again. At least now we can publish our selves and get our work read instead of the bad not so old days where you could NEVER have your book read by anyone EVER because you had no way of publishing it except via trade publishers.
    And they had a quota of new authors for each year which was very low compared to the number of people who write books.

  4. It's rare that a writer makes a living completely from writing, so you are definitely not alone. On my day job, I am a writer and editor for a medical publication, but it's not the kind of writing I would like to be doing all day long. I'm saying this at the risk of sounding ungrateful. I guess we have to appreciate and cherish the time we have to write what we love. There's no shame in that! :-)

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