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Archive for the month “December, 2012”

LOOKING AHEAD TO 2013

Well, this is it.

Much like Christmas which, as that wise old sage The Grinch showed us, comes even without ribbons, boxes or bags, the new year is here whether we raise a fuss or not. This is good since, with the exception of partying all night, watching “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” (R.I.P. Dick Clark), and the New Year’s Day hangover, there is little we do as a society to commemorate it. Well, except for year-end reviews like, ahem, this one: Goodbye, 2012! Also I spent the Y2K New Years puking from the flu, so there’s that.

Anyway, now that I’ve thrown out my “Famous Figs Throughout History” calendar for 2012 and hung up my “Fun With Dish Scrubbers” 2013 calendar, it’s time to think just what exactly we’re getting into. Here are some completely off the top of my head bits of dubious prognostication with little more research that a feeble Googling here and there.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS:

Revolution in Syria will drag on, bloody, but little changed before the end of the year. Presumptive new Secretary of State John Kerry will jump in with both feet to broker…something, but not much will happen. Greece will go broke again (it’s what they do). North Korea will attempt and fail to launch another rocket, then immediately demand something in return for the effort. If they ask, they can have the Kardashians. Also, I hear the cast of “Jersey Shore” is looking for work.

DOMESTIC AFFAIRS:

We’ll go over the fiscal cliff, eagerly and with much flair. Severe government budget cuts and increased taxes for all will screw everybody over. Partisan pundits will take turns blaming the opposing party for the mess. Obama will score a few popularity points hammering Republicans over this in the State of the Union, which will add little to change things. And…since the next Congressional elections aren’t until 2014 and the voting public has short term memory, no politicians will lose their jobs. The private sector employment rate will also remain stagnant.

ENTERTAINMENT

The James Patterson book machine will grind out eighty-seven books which will all sell a bazillion copies. There will be another “Twilight” film but, since there are no more books to use as a template, the vampires and wolfmen (just one wolfman? Dunno.) will improv “Curb Your Enthusiasm” style. Then they’ll eat Larry David. More seriously, the next installment of The Hobbit will come out. Critics will have their carving knives ready, but will be pleasantly surprised to find it’s “okay.”  It’ll sell two bazillion tickets. Saturday Night Live will remain unfunny.

FOR ME

My kids will continue to insist on growing up, consuming more resources, filling up more space in the house that I could be using for MY stuff and hogging more bathroom time. The blog will go on (sucks to be you). MAYBE put out another book, since In the St. Nick of Time is getting lonely on the shelf.

What’s on your horizon for the coming year?

GOODNIGHT, 2012!

A look back at the past year, presented in the style of “Goodnight Moon”, the popular children’s book.
(With apologies to Margaret Wise Brown)

In the year gone by
There were elections

And a fiscal cliff
And a picture of –

Mickey Mouse as a Wookie (not really, but it’s coming)

And there were scandals a-plenty – like Petraeus and Elmo

And two deceased “Sweathogs” – Epstein and Horshack
And the Olympics in London with Mars Curiosity overhead

And Apple sued Samsung

And no one to Facebook’s IPO rushed

And a bunch of states told gay marriage haters to “hush”

Goodnight Kodak

Goodnight bacon shortage (dodged a bullet there!)

Goodnight “Soul Train” Don Cornelius – Yukon Cornelius lives still

Goodnight Whitney Houston and George McGovern
And Continental Airlines
Goodnight Nora Ephron and space jumper Felix Baumgartner
Goodnight Monkee Davey Jones and disgraced Lance Armstrong

Goodnight Hostess

And goodnight Gore Vidal

Goodnight hurricanes and earthquakes and replacement refs
And goodnight politicians talking way too much about vaginas

Goodnight Space X private cargo rocket with James Doohan’s ashes

And goodnight North Korean rockets, Syrian revolution

Goodnight Ernest Borgnine and Sherman Hemsley

And goodnight Ear Scruggs, Andy Griffith and Sally Ride

Goodnight Dick Clark and Mike Wallace and Neil Armstrong

Goodnight union battles and Penn State horrors

And goodnight to Supreme Court who told Obamacare critics to “hush”

Goodnight Colorado

Goodnight Connecticut

Goodnight violence everywhere

BRING ON 2013!

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Question: “What does Santa do in the garden?”

Answer: “Ho ho ho!”

Merry Christmas everybody. May your heart be light, though that seems unlikely with the massive quantities of egg nog, fatty meats and baked goods you’re consuming. Ah, screw it. The world ended on December 21 anyway and is now just a burnt-out shell of former human habitation (you’re probably reading this post using a stick to shift embers of your computer, bathed in the glow from your flaming dining room set.). So live it up! At least for once you had a holiday gathering with your relatives where you had something to talk about other than Uncle Ben’s drinking problem and how pissed your sister Suzie is that you never take her side.

Since ’tis the season to offer up reruns, I came across this piece that I wrote at Christmastime like eight years ago (well, not like eight. It actually was eight. Shut up.) for one of my old, defunct websites. I came across it the other night and it kind of amused me. So here it is. Hope it does the same for you. Happy holidays.

SANTA’S PRESS CONFERENCE

(Originally published December 11, 2005)

He moodily rippled the somber stillness of the darkened room by slowly moving an arm to flip on the TV.  WXMS correspondent Ann Elf was seated behind a desk rimmed in candy cane red and white, apparently not aware she was now live.  She could be heard shifting her jingle-belled feet nervously.

Suddenly aware, Ann Elf bobbed her red and green-hatted head slightly and said, “Good afternoon.  We interrupt this afternoon’s marathon of crappy holiday specials that don’t have Charlie Brown, Frosty, or Rudolph to bring you live coverage of Santa Claus’s press conference.  The reason for Mr. Kringle’s decision to meet the press has not been revealed, but perhaps we will get some answers shortly.”  Out of words, Ann Elf smiled nervously.

She paused, an expression of intense listening on her face.  The viewer watching all this on TV shifted and burped.

Ann Elf continued.  “I’m being told Pere’ Noel is now approaching the podium at the gateway to the Christmas Tree Forest at Santa’s Castle.  Let’s go there now live.”

The TV studio was replaced on the moody viewer’s screen by the splendid richness of color that characterized the grounds of Santa’s Castle.  The big man approached the microphone, after shifting his wide, patent-leather belt.  “Ho, ho, ho!” he bellowed merrily – as if there were any other way – to the assembled reporters; elves, dwarves, unicorns, and Anderson Cooper.

Santa’s eyes twinkled at the assembled journalists, except Helen Thomas, who was dozing.

“My friends,” Santa said, gesturing widely with green-mittened hands.  “As you’ve doubtless heard by now, Christmas is being cancelled this year.”

The expected rumbling ensued.  The television viewer grimaced and watched.  Among the journalists, all hands shot up, eager to ask the inevitable question.  Santa motioned them down.

“Let me explain,” he said.  “There will be Christmas – on a date yet to be determined following completion of the North Pole merger with Wal-Mart into a new company to be run by one of Donald Trump’s apprentices.”

“So, when will it be?” asked one voice in the back.

“We’re thinking March or April.  Or maybe June,” Santa said, chewing on the question as he spoke.  “Probably on a Monday to take full advantage of a last shopping weekend.”

“Will Rudolph be a part of the new company?” asked a talking squirrel clutching a Blackberry.

Tersely, Santa replied, “Rudolph has opted to take a position with Municipal Power and Light.  We wish him well.”

“Man,” the rumpled man in holey socks said as he watched this spectacle, scratching himself idly. “No Santa?  No Rudolph?  No Christmas on December 25?  I busted my butt to scrape up some goodwill to spread around to my fellow beings despite being unemployed and broke.”  His scowl deepens.  “Plus, I’ll bet now I won’t get that X-Box 360.”

The man hunkers down lower into the cushions of his three-legged couch, sulking.

“So what’s Chanukah all about?”

(Time traveling back to the 2012) So was it any good?  I promise all new stuff next post.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! (Your pick. I care not  a whit what holiday you choose or which one you greet me with when I buy stuff in your check out lane at the store as long as you leave all the pie for me.)

LOOSE

Today’s post is brought to you by the word LOOSE. And the letter “L” naturally. Also the number 305u3-2123i4iu404-3=30u4- which, yes I know,  includes some symbols that aren’t numbers. God, you’re picky.

Anyway, this week’s post is all about the …what? Virtue? Defect? Mere state of being? The characteristic of being LOOSE.

You’re nervous where this is going, aren’t you?

Loose lips. They sink ships, you know.  Loose teeth. Loose morals. Nothing good ever comes with “loose” attached to it. You’d think it would. People seem to like loose things (steady, perv). “Loosen that pickle jar lid,” they say. Or, “Just relax, man. Hang loose.” See? It should be a positive word.

Not like “lose”. Lose is bad. A team loses the game. You lose your keys, or your mind, or your sanity. You lose a loved one. You can’t even win for losing. Someone who is “loose” might be a hit at the party. But someone who is a loser goes home alone.

But I still have hope for “loose,” sinners not withstanding. It’s not like “lost”. Lost is bleak. Lost denotes an ending. It’s over. You’re done. Everything – or one particular thing as the case may be – is LOST. Lost causes. Lost hopes. Lost innocence.

It’s fun to play around with language. Take a word, any word, roll it around in your mouth and see what falls out. (Hopefully not phlegm, unless that’s the word you chose in which case – kudos!) It’s a fun time killer waiting for the train or waiting for Uncle Merv to stop talking about his bunion surgery again. And, for your writers, it can spark some creativity. Down there, below this post, give me a 50-100 word story featuring the word LOOSE. You’ll get nothing in return from me (except gratitude), but you just might jump-start your oomph (or something) to get your short story/novel/poem finished. Don’t forget to remember me in the acknowledgements.

If you’ve read this far, I assume you feel the same way about words. That, or you’ve gotten tired of the relatives visiting for the holidays already and are desperate for something to do until it’s time to break out the alcohol. Actually, this post might be better with a little something to drink.

Pardon me while I hit the liquor cabinet.

EMBRACING IMAGINATION

Recently, Clifford the Big Red Dog made an appearance at an event at my kid’s preschool. Santa Claus was the headliner, but Clifford was a pretty good opening act, as far as my three-year-old was concerned. We watch his show on TV. We frequently read his books. This was going to be cool.

My boy marched right up to Clifford, looked him in the eye and said, “I see you.” That’s right, he was not at all fooled. At the right angle, you could actually see the person inside the suit, literally, through Clifford’s eyes. My son was just at the right angle, and he proudly proclaimed his discovery.

But here’s the thing…

After we went down the hall and chatted with Santa – a way more hushed and reverent affair – my son still wanted to go back and give Clifford a hug. Not a dude in a Clifford suit. The Clifford. The Big Red Dog. My boy’s mind had no trouble with the world existing in two realities; one where there’s a dude dressed up like a giant dog waving at people and another where a ginormous red beast is wandering the halls of his school. There was no cognitive dissonance there. For him, that’s just how it is. The imaginary world seamlessly complements the plain old real world and vice versa.

That’s how we writers should be. You imagination isn’t something to be brought out only when you sit down at the computer to write a story. Imagination is something you should live with all the time. It should be a part of everything you do, everywhere you go. Be aware of the reality of the situation, but don’t be bound by it. Embrace the unreality too. The reality today might be you have to go the grocery store, then the bank, then the post office. But what’s wrong with imagining you’re getting there via stardust-powered locomotive? You can look at your kid’s crayon doodles and inventory the colors used – red, purple, green, etc. – and the number of times they went “outside the lines.” But why not take a moment to just look at that same picture with your kid’s eyes. What were they thinking in the moment they picked up that crayon?

Reality and Imagination. The best of both worlds. These worlds don’t collide, not if you do it right. Rather, they intersect, intertwine, interface. Whatever “inter” your into, they’ll do it. If only you let them. You’ll grow as a person. As a being. As a writer.

Or go crazy. Dunno. But it’ll be a swell ride.

Live in one world, play in the other. Which is which is up to you.

THINGS I’M GONNA DO BEFORE THE WORLD ENDS

This has been a GRRRRReat day!

Why? I went for lunch, which was cool in itself. But THEN, because I’m such a good customer, the lady behind the counter gave me a freebie. No! Not what you think, pervert!

What I got was a free desk calendar. Yes! Because I had no other conceivable means of knowing what day it is! And now I do!

So let’s check this out…*Flips open calendar* Oh! Duckies! Those are cute. *Flips some more page*. Wait a minute…this calendar isn’t in English. It’s ancient Mayan. Fortunately, I’m fluent in the entire family of Mayan languages, so let’s just see what it says here…What the hell? The calendar isn’t finished. There must have been a printer’s glitch. It only goes up to December 21. Wait, what’s this writing down here? WARNING…

SON OF A BITCH!

The world is gonna end on December 21!

Than ancient Mayans said it. It must be true.They’re all dead. That’s proof enough for me.

But I have too many mistakes to fix for the world to end in, like, a few days.

I should have ordered the steak sandwich.

I should have asked for two calendars.

There’s not much time left. So much to do and literally no time to do it in. You can choose to go out with a bang or a whimper. I choose to bang! (That sounds weird. What the hell? Civilization will soon disappear in a fiery, all-consuming bath of Hell’s wrath. Or something.)

So what should I do first?

  1. I’m going to renew all my magazine subscriptions. “What’s the point?” you ask. No time to read them anyway? Here’s the thing: it’s payback time. I’ve been getting a magazine for months that I never ordered, have never paid for and don’t want. I’ve contacted customer service at least twice to let them know they don’t have to waste their magazine on me, but I was ignored both times (except that now I’m on their email solicitation list). I can think of few better ways to celebrate the end of history than sticking it t some corporation’s customer service department. Just try to collect that $29.95 from me when my bank is a smoldering cinder along with everything else.
  2. Pet the cat. Because, you know, the end of all humanity is pretty stressful. Petting cats is soothing.
  3. Take a whole bunch of piano lessons really fast. I do this as a last gift for Mom because she always regretted that I never took piano lessons. Not much time to learn an instrument though. This one could be hard. Do they make Rosetta Stone for piano?
  4. Party like it’s 1999!!!! Because, you know, back then we all thought the world was gonna end on New Year’s 2000, so I figure whatever we did then to ring in the end of civilization, which apparently actually saved us, would be a good approach for this time around. Anyone got any sick kids who could cough on me? ’cause, New Years’ 2000, I rang in the end of time by heaving my guts out – and not in a good way. Had a major flu bug. Unfortunately, today, as I write this, I’m feeling pretty good. Damn health is wasted on the end of the world.
  5. Finally solve the Rubik’s Cube. No, smarty pants, I never have. Feel superior, do you?
  6. If you fry it, I’ll eat it. Who cares about cholesterol now?
  7. Watch all my favorite movies one more time. I’m gonna miss you most of all, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.
  8. Clean the basement, because I’m not going to the grave with my wife still hounding me about it.
  9. Tweet more. When you’re outta time, there’s no such thing as killing it.
  10. Stop cleaning the litter boxes. F- it. The cats can fend for themselves at this point.

*Phew* Gonna be a busy few days. I just hope the Mayans were right in their calculations and the world doesn’t end soo—

GUN VIOLENCE

Two caveats before I even say anything else.

1. I wasn’t going to write this post. Occasionally on Twitter I’ll say something political, but on the blog I try not to. This is a blog for writers and readers of all stripes.

But here’s the thing: gun violence isn’t a political issue. It’s an issue about society and what amount of bloodshed all of us are willing to stomach before we do something for the collective good. I get that no one gives a shit what I think about this issue, but if enough individuals the thoughts of whom no one gives a shit about individually put their voices together, suddenly those voices become more relevant and people do listen. So here I am.

Also, to the argument that now is not the time to talk about guns out of “respect” for victims, I say when the hell is the right time? Tomorrow? Next year? The NEXT time a bunch of kids die? The best way to honor the dead is to immediately get to work figuring out how to prevent more death.

2. I originally titled this post “Guns”, but then changed it to “Gun Violence.” Why? Because all these attacks by gunmen aren’t just about there being a lot of guns floating around out there. It’s about the people who use them and about how we spend so much time fretting over the laws to regulate the things – the guns – while ignoring the person doing the shooting. How do people get to a point where they think mowing down kids in a school is the only option? How do we let people get to that point?

Trust me, I’m not a “guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” guy. A lunatic can rant all he wants about wanting to kill someone, but until he gets a gun in his hand, it’s just talk. So I’ve got plenty to say about that (and will down below).

But when government at all levels – local, state, federal – wants to save money they hammer certain programs first: law enforcement, judicial, firefighters education, and MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES. All these groups, whose sole purpose is to protect and educate and secure us, get their budgets slashed first. What the hell? There is a healthy debate to be had about what the role of government should be in society, but these are things (along with food and water safety) that governments can do WAY better for everyone than private corporations if they choose to do so. But they don’t. It boggles my mind.

In times like this, after a tragedy, there are some who always want to downplay it. One of the arguments floating around Twitter right now is something like this: “Well, a lot more kids die in car accidents every year than are killed by guns so that’s what we should be regulating.” Seriously? Car ACCIDENTS are simply that, not the work of  a mentally ill individual with death on his mind.

Also, we do regulate the SHIT out of car safety and drivers. Vehicle inspections. Seatbelts. Air bags. License requirements. Drunk driving laws. Speeding laws. Reckless driving laws. When’s the last time someone got pulled over by a cop for a concealed weapon inspection? When’s the last time a gun owner was asked to renew a license? Take an annual safety course? We make drivers do breathalyzer tests if they might be drunk, what about making gun owners or wannabe gun owners submit to psychological evaluations?

Cars, when used correctly, by sober, licensed drivers are intended for transportation and don’t typically kill people.  Guns on the other hand, serve only one purpose: to kill. You can shoot cans and paper targets with a gun, but that’s not what it was made for. You can admire the craftsmanship, the history, whatever, but it’s still an instrument for taking a life.  Even if we’re not going to ban guns, we should respect that power. But we don’t.

I don’t own guns. I don’t understand hunting, but I get that there are sportsmen who do and I respect that only because MOST sportsmen are responsible gun owners. I don’t like that those guns are out there to begin with, but if they are, I at least want responsible people to have them. However, I think a lot of sportsmen would agree that handguns and assault weapons can and should be curtailed if not outlawed. There’s no sport in gunning down a bunny with an Uzi. Handguns, I’m told, are really hard to shoot accurately (and, I suspect, not much good for hunting) If we could get some of these off the market so that criminals and the mentally ill can’t get them, that would be a good start.

Until recently, I thought the thing I wanted Obama to do most in his second term was to get more health care to more people for less money. I still want that. But sitting here today watching my kids who are still happy and alive while a lot of parents don’t get to do that, I think what I really want is for Obama to tell the NRA to suck it. If the NRA doesn’t want to help fix this problem, they need to get out of the way.

I’ve gone on too long here, probably pissed off a few readers. Not a good choice for a writer. But I have little kids about the age of these latest gun victims. Saying these words is a good choice as a dad. Right now, today, that’s the important thing.

AN ODE TO WAITING

I recently had to entertain a three-year-old for more than half an hour in a crowded, uncomfortable auditorium while waiting for his sister to come out to give a performance. The day before that, I waited for his  sister in the same auditorium for rehearsal for an hour and a half.

Hurry up. Wait.

Go now. Wait some more.

Waiting. This facet of daily life, so much of daily life, has been on my mind a lot lately.

We all do it. Get up in the morning. Wait for the coffee to brew. Wait for the kids to get ready so you can take them to school. Get in your car. Drive down the street. Wait for a red light to change. Get to work. Wait for the elevator. Arrive at the office. Wait for Miriam from down the hall to finish telling you about her latest excruciating weekend battling bunions. Make some calls, wait for voice mail. Go to lunch. wait in line to order, then to pay, then to get ketchup. Splatter ketchup on your jacket, wait in line at the one-hour dry cleaner. Back to the office, wait for the staff meeting to start. During the meeting, wait for the damn thing to be over already. Back in your own office, see that some of your calls from the morning have been returned. Wait for YOUR voicemail to play your messages. Return calls. Wait for their voicemail again. Turn in that file your supervisor wanted by the end of the day, then wait for the sign that it was acceptable. Stop to buy a lottery ticket, then wait by the TV for the numbers to be drawn. To kill time while waiting, download a movie and wait for it to load. Get sleepy and wait for the Red Bull to wear off so you can fall asleep. Fall asleep, wait for Katy Perry to appear in your dreams and ravage you. Wake up in the morning. Alone. Waiting…waiting…

There are all manner of strategies available to counter the boredom of waiting. In the auditorium, I witnessed a number of them. There was the woman who stood up in the middle of a mid-row of seats for a good thirty minutes before the show started, back to the stage, staring at the door at the back of the auditorium, one hand on her hip. There was the guy in the grey hoodie and workboots, hunkering down in his seat so no one would see him at a dance recital. There was the old guy fiddling with a camcorder and tripod. There were a lot of text message reading and cell phone game playing.

There’s an art to waiting. I’m not very good at it. (If I had to DRAW art, I’d be even more screwed.) I think – even I don’t necessary practice – that every moment spent waiting is one you don’t necessarily need to let be wasted. It’s the times that feel like I’m wasting it, that drive me the most insane. Don’t just stare at the wall or each other or the ceiling or that wad of whatever the hell that is on the back of the seat in front of you. Read a book. WRITE a book. Balance your checkbook. Brush your teeth. Brush your neighbor’s teeth. Just do something besides vegetate.

Like, I dunno, read some awesome blogs. Now if only I knew some…

TANTRUMS

An author gets a bad review from a blogger and takes to the Comments page to go on a rant about how stupid the blogger is.

My three-year-old is mad because he can’t have a snack while breakfast is cooking.

A politician loses an election and gripes that the other person only won by buying votes.

My other kid is incensed that she would be asked to clean her own room.

What do all these people have in common? Other than occasionally peeing their pants?

They are all having tantrums. I don’t mean simply expressing disagreement with an opposing viewpoint. I mean an all out, arm waving, top of the lungs shit-storm. It could be metaphorical – the author typing his angry missive about the bad review – or literal – my kid chucking toys across the room, thereby freaking out the cat. (My cat also rarely follows any blogs for the same reason.)

You could argue that an adult expressing outrage – at a blogger, at a bad driver in front of you, at a less than diligent barista – is not the same thing as a kid rolling around on the floor, thrashing and wailing. But I beg to differ. A tantrum is a tantrum. Substitute cursing and flipping the bird for mucus and tears if you want, but it’s still childish behavior.

Are tantrums healthy? Probably not. Perhaps for a kid whose ability to express emotion calmly is not very well developed, it’s at least understandable. For an adult, though, you really should know better. Alas, we’ve all done it. Let stress and pressure get us and erupt. You feel stupid afterward, right? Well, you should. Even the kid tends to feel at least temporarily contrite after a tantrum.

Are tantrums normal? Don’t know. Certainly seem to be. You see them a lot out in public – Black Friday is virtually made for them. Just imagine how many tantrums go on in all the other homes in your neighborhood. Think of all the tantrums that go on in your OWN home. We all hate them, cringe at them, flee them like a burning building or Jehovah’s Witness coming to your door. But we all do it or instigate it or enable it.

Some schools of thought will have it that releasing any and all emotions any way you see fit is the only way to live. Don’t bottle things up, they say. You’ll have a stroke if you do, they say. Maybe there’s some logic there, but there’s a difference between letting feelings out and dealing with them and hurling a plate of spaghetti at the minimum wage work behind the counter. (Someday, I’m hoping Olive Garden will let me back in. Kidding…there’s no chance in hell. Also, they shouldn’t offer unlimited breadsticks if they don’t really mean it.) I’d like to think society is developing into a more mature, respectful (don’t have to always agree, but at least listen), thoughtful bunch of folks.

I’m probably delusional.

HOW DO YOU MEASURE WRITING SUCCESS?

When I escape from the blog tower now and then, I go exist in a parallel world. It’s called the DAY JOB and it’s a faraway land of pixies, everlasting sunshine and unicorns who know how to make really good apple pie.

In my other life, I’ve recently been spending time with friends and colleagues who have taken substantial steps in their careers – new, more prestigious jobs, assuming more authority, expanded duties. With most careers, it’s pretty easy to objectively measure advances: promotions, more money, a better office. My friends are doing well, no doubt about it. Everyone around the water cooler knows it.

But, when I jump in my Jetson’s style car, with the interdimensional upgrade and standard Back to the Future style hover conversion, to journey back to the writing tower, I’m left…what? Confused? Unsettled? Unfulfilled? No, not really. I’m still doing what I do: writing blogs and books and witty (yes, they are, shut up) tweets. But how do I know if I’m getting anywhere? And what does that mean? How do I know if my career as a writer is “advancing” the same why my suit-wearing colleagues in that other world do?

And is it even a fair comparison? I don’t drive to an office to write my stuff. I go upstairs to that room with the desk. I already have a corner office. Sometimes I sit on the couch with the laptop. To me, that’s the equivalent, I guess, of a company retreat or something.

I’m not at a point in my writing that I can use how much money I’ve made as a good barometer, because, really, I haven’t made that much. But is that a good measure? Book sales prove success of a book, obviously, but my question at the outset of this blog was about measuring career advancement. I suppose more sales/more money is like corporate giving you a big raise. Likewise, I suppose an award is like a year-end bonus. Favorable book reviews are the little “How Am I Doing?” comment cards businesses give out.

Does it matter? Above all, I , and probably most writers, write because it’s what we love to do. We’re compelled to do it by the hinky wiring in our brains. That’s what’s important, of course. But still…my day job feels a LOT different than life in the writing tower.

So how do I measure writing success? I don’t know. How do you? Is it a personal thing? An objective measure of book sales and awards and favorable reviews? What do you think?

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