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’ve always felt…uncomfortable discussing this on Twitter or this blog.
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 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.
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.
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.