10 Reasons to Become an Author

My recent near-flood experience made me think about how great it is to be a writer. Well, it was actually a flood, but we were able to keep the water out of the house. (See I Need a Good Cry--Be Right Back.)

I learned that 12 other people in our small subdivision weren't as fortunate. So I'm counting my blessings and not focusing on counting the dollars required to re-landscape my yard after the underground drain system is installed Thursday. (I just wish the drain man could have put us on his schedule sooner.)

But back to why that experience made me think how great it is to be a writer. It's because I have a place I can escape to when real life sucks. It's the fictional world of my work in progress. That's a reason to become an author for sure. So what are some other reasons?

Top 10 Reasons for Becoming an Author

In David Letterman style, here's my list.

10. You can escape grim reality like trenching up your front yard to keep your house from flooding in torrential rains by entering the fictional world created for the book you're writing.

9. You can take people in the real world who have been mean to you and plunk them down in your work of fiction where you make sure they're depicted as heartless villains so that readers dislike them too. Then you can finish them off however you choose--send them to prison, bankrupt them, make them gain a few hundred pounds, whatever floats your boat. (Look for a murder mystery from me next year wherein I'll do away with a couple of people who have really created problems for me. *g*)

8. You can create characters who are strong, good, loving people and name them after your friends and loved ones.

7. What's even more fun is to take the names of your friends and loved ones and use them for towns, hotels, restaurants, businesses, etc. in your work of fiction.

In The Trouble With Love the first book of my Texas One Night Stands series, I establish the Sheriff's Department as being in Alton County, Texas, which is fictional. I named the county after a close relative.

In Second Chance Bride, Book 2 of An All Brides Are Beautiful Romance (the first book is April Fool Bride), the town of Malcolm was suggested by my son-in-law. We were in the waiting room when my daughter had surgery recently. I was working on that story, and we were all worried so I started discussing the story with my son-in-law. I asked him to name the town to which Constance travels at the beginning of the book. We discussed several of his suggestions, then he decided on Malcolm, after Malcolm Reynolds of the cult-favorite Firefly TV series which he loves. Playing the name game helped us get through the awful waiting.

6. You're not scolded for daydreaming when you're a writer. When I stare into space at nothing, I'm writing. If I'm watching TV instead of putting words on paper, I'm writing because whatever I'm viewing makes the wheels turn in my brain that's always looking for ideas, connections, etc.

5. When you go to a party, you have lots of things to say to the other guests when they say: "Oh, so you're a writer. Well what are you writing?" Just be careful you watch for the telltale sign of eyes glazing over.

4. You can make great mental lists of rejoinders when you talk to a civilian who says: "Oh, yeah, I'm going to write a book someday when I have the time."

Possible Responses: "Yes, and I'm going to litigate lawsuits as soon as I have the time." Or to a dermatologist: "I'm going to remove some precancerous spots with that nifty liquid nitrogen gun as soon as I have the time." Or, "Yes, I plan to dive into neurosurgery as soon as I have the time."

3. You can look frazzled with no makeup, no visible hairstyle, and you can avoid all social and community activities by saying: "No, I'm sorry, but I'm on deadline and can't do anything until this book is finished." (This also works to avoid having to cook dinner for the family, but don't use it too often or they rebel.)

2. You can wear whatever you want to the office. Pajamas, tee shirt and shorts, warm fuzzy sweat clothes in the winter--or nothing I suppose if that's how you roll.

1. You make truckloads of enough money to keep doing what you love.

Sadly, you seldom make truckloads of money. I can't imagine working this hard for any reason other than I love what I do and can't think of anything else that beats writing. I'm lucky that I make enough to allow me to keep doing this because the only other alternative would be saying: "Welcome to BIG-HUGE-DISCOUNT STORE."

That's my list. If you're an author reading, what's yours?

Takeaway Truth

Dear wonderful, discerning, intelligent Readers. I haven't forgotten you. You're definitely one of the reasons I became an author. I love knowing that my words make people smile and entertain them. I like sending the message in my books: "It's never too late to live happily ever after."

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