For some reason,
people seem interested in the life of a published writer. Before I joined that
group, I had visions of a writer repairing to a quiet den where he or she could
write in solitude, turning out words that were pure gold and never needed
editing. When the author went out, people would point and whisper, “There
goes…” And every few weeks, the postman would deliver a hefty royalty check,
which the writer would put into an already fat mutual fund account. But now, as
the late Paul Harvey would put it, I know the rest of the story.
My office is far
from the spacious, well-furnished room I envisioned. I often joke that it’s so
small I have to step outside to change my mind. My time there is
never uninterrupted, but I don’t mind. That’s one of the advantages of working
The author's swanky office
Although I try to
get in some actual writing most days, my time in the officeis also taken with email, blog posts (mine
and those of others), marketing, and the hundred-and-one things that I’ve found
demand a writer’s attention.
By the way,
although I always warn writers to avoid this activity, when I have a new
release, such as Critical
Condition, I read the reviews. Although I generally enjoy them, there
are always one or two that keep me humble.
When I do get
around to writing, I open my latest work-in-progress, read through the last
couple of scenes (editing as I go), and write additional material. That not
only gets me back into the flow of the novel, but makes my subsequent editing
and revision work easier.
During all this, I
look around for adoring crowds but see none. I listen for brass bands but all I
hear are children playing in the yard next door. And when the postman comes, he
generally brings bills and circulars, not fat checks. No, this isn’t the
writer’s life I imagined.
There you have it,
a typical writing day. It’s humdrum, totally devoid of drama, without the
trappings of fame and fortune I once imagined. But would I change it? Not on
your life. I’m a writer, and happy to be one.
Richard Mabry is a retired
physician, past Vice President of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and
author of “medical suspense with heart.” His novels have been a semifinalist
for International Thriller Writers’ debut novel, finalists for the Carol Award
and Romantic Times’ Reader’s Choice Award, and winner of the Selah Award. His most recent novel, just released, is Critical
Condition. You can follow Richard on his blog, on Twitter, and his Facebook fan page. Make sure to stop by The Borrowed Book tomorrow for a chance to win a free copy of Critical Condition!