I daydream about what my ideal life as a writer will be like.
I know it’s not conducive to do. In a way, it’s self-torture, right? You’re supposed to be happy with your place in the writing world while constantly striving for the next thing, not daydreaming about the day you get to become the “next” Stephen King and have a million television mini-series produced about your work, regardless of how many drugs you did while on them.
Nothing but love and respect to Mr. King. That man is a true inspiration.
Professional writers constantly tell you that the dream of sitting at a big, mahogany desk with a glass of wine, engulfed in complete silence minus the tapping of keys or scratching of a pen in a notebook while soft jazz plays on a record player, is nowhere near the life of a professional writer. They like to say things like, “You need to learn to write anywhere and everywhere, even in bus stop bathrooms or at the Bar Mitzvah you were invited to or at grandma’s 90th birthday. Yes, I know there’s not 90 candles on the birthday cake, but we didn’t want to set the nursing home on fire. Why are you still typing??”
They might also say, “Inspiration isn’t going to come to you like a muse in the night, tickling your toes. You need to run her down and tackle her and make her tell you everything she knows. Definitely don’t look for your story at the bottom of a whiskey bottle because you’re not Hemingway and even when Hemingway did use the Hemingway method it was all in a downward path of self-destruction.”
I’m not doing that with his little exercise. Instead, I like to think of Dream Writing Job not so much in the lifestyle, but in what I’m getting paid to write. Grounded in the real but lofty in its heights.
Books are the top of the list, first and foremost. Telling stories. If I could make a career writing books for middle-grade kids for the rest of my life, as the prime source of income, I’d be happy. Now, what does that look like? Book advances and royalty deals vary from book to book to series to series to television option to television option so I won’t be unrealistic. We can’t all be Stephen King or Rick Riordan. I know that.
But, let’s say I write one book a year. Just one. Rick Riordan does it. Jeff Kinney does it. Rachel Renee Russell does it. Just one. If it pays enough to support my family in a meaningful way, I’d be happy.
Again, not looking to become “the next big thing,” but I want to be able to take a trip to Disneyland once a year. That’s the goal.
What about extra writing? Not every author does freelance gigs on the side, either in paper publishing or within the online realm, but I think I’d like to. But, what about? The current work I’m doing involves reporting on the most popular internet news and trends, but I don’t think I’d do that forever. No, I’d like to make the switch into my first online writing pursuit: comic books.
Not writing the comics, no. Writing about them. I guess that kind of makes me a unique fan. If you ask any comic reader if they’d love a chance to write comics, I doubt many of them would say no. I prefer to write about them. I feel there’s so much that comic books offer the general public doesn’t get to see. I’m glad the MCU movies have spread the knowledge of Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor far and wide, but there’s more. There’s a whole other level of meaning and subtext that I’d like to get into.
Let’s take a trip to Magical Christmas Land: one piece a quarter. Something longform, three to eight thousand words, I don’t know. Deep dives on different comic characters or legendary runs, explaining why comics matter. That’d be nice. I don’t know of any website who would support that kind of longform comics journalism (link to Sktchd and their wonderful work HERE for no particular reason but really you should go check them out and support them), but someday, someone might pay me to do that kind of thing.
- A novel a year.
- Writing 3-4 longform pieces about comic books.
- And teaching.
I don’t know if I can ever give up teaching. Working with kids, helping them learn, grow, become better people, that’s just as much a part of me as my name. So, within this Dream Writing Job scenario, I would still be able to work with kids. Maybe back in a classroom position? Administration jobs have never appealed to me, like a principal or someone at the district offices, but, if I can dream anything I want then this is a part of it.
I’m an elementary school teacher, writing a book a year, while simultaneously putting out longform comic deep dives on a quarterly basis. Roughly five major pieces of writing a year. I’d get all my teaching work done from the hours of 8-3, maybe workout at 6am, depending on when the kids need to go to school. I’m done and preparing a snack for the boys (and any other siblings coming their way) when they get home. We hang out, do homework, read, go outside for walks, all before dinner. Once they’re down, then I write for 2 hours before my own bedtime. Grading on the weekend.
That’s the dream.
When the world opens up, and we have help with the kids, and we’re more free to do what we want to do, I think that’s a good dream to aspire to achieve. Not all of it is achievable, and in fact some of it
Something to work for.
Thanks for reading,