Writers’ Realities

I started out with every intention of writing a stunningly funny and erudite essay to make a splash for my first post on the Romantic Journey site, Well, the best laid plans of mice and writers go aft awry, to misquote Robbie Burns (a nod to Burns’ Night!) so you get this piece instead.
Sometimes I get very confused. Not just because I’m blonde, but because my writing life is split up into two different Realities.
Reality One: I write romantic suspense. Ok, so there are sometimes rather nasty, bloodthirsty scenes, but that’s par for the course. You’d sort of expect it, right? But I also weave in a lot of humor into my work (I lived in Ireland for a few years; the humor sort of rubbed off) . Romance writing almost always has a happy ending, so that reality is all warm and fuzzy and Happy Ever After,
Reality Two: This is quite different. I write non-fiction books and ghostwritten biographies and novels. Hey, I was a journalist and this is a good way to pay the bills. But at any given time I may be translating a battered wife’s memories of her brutally unhappy marriage; writing a dating manual for the unhappy and panicking lonesome souls; or using my training as a counselor to write about depression and its treatment. Soon, I may be plunged into researching and writing about Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, or rewriting a semi autobiographical novel a client has poured their heart and soul into.
Can you see what I mean about my two realities being confusing?
But if my working life is confusing, imagine the plight of the journalists who travel to foreign lands to cover wars and disasters. When I was a young journalist, my big ambition was to be a foreign correspondent. I thought it would be incredibly romantic and noble. Now I’m thankful my career path took a different turn.
But I have huge admiration for my journalist colleagues who regularly put their lives and sanity in jeopardy to look deep into the Abyss on our behalf and bring back the Truth that they find there.
Next time you hear or read reports about wars or disasters, about the terrible human suffering that plagues our planet, please send up a brief prayer for the dedicated professional writers who went out and gathered that information. Ask whatever Power you believe in to keep them safe so that we can continue to see, through their eyes, the truth.
Sometimes the writing I do leaves me sleepless. Yet I cannot imagine the sights and sounds that disturb their dreams.
I’d love to hear comments about your Realities and how you deal with the confusions that inevitably arise from the balancing acts of writing, earning a living, and Real Life!


3 Responses to “Writers’ Realities”

  1. 27 January, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    I hear you, Glenys! There’s nothing worse than trying to bounce between reality and alternate reality. I think the most difficult part for me is pulling myself out of a really intense scene in a story so that I can go back to the rather mundane tasks that await me. Somehow making dinner just isn’t as exciting as being chased down a back alley by a demon…

    Excellent first post! 🙂


  2. 27 January, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Hi, Glenys. I enjoyed your post. I know how you feel. My life working and otherwise is very chaotic. Trying to get my writing career off the ground, balancing two different writing personalities and publishers, while working a 9-5, raising three teenagers and being the major breadwinner of the family (my husband is disabled.) is a never ending tornado of work, ballgames, appointments and dozens of little things. Oh, and then there’s the house I am remodeling (and when I say “I” it means do it myself until we get to the electrical and gas lines)for us. How do you keep things organized and balanced?


  3. 27 January, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    I totally agree with you, Glenys. Sometimes I have trouble with reality and decide to escape for a while.

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