So I’m a little left of center
I’m a little out of tune…
Who wants to be ordinary
In a crazy, mixed up world…?
Hey, you were on my side
And they just roll their eyes
You get me
When nobody understands
You come and take a chance…
~~ Michelle Branch
Several times a year I am fortunate enough to take trips. These might be business related, as in concerning my writing. It might be something like the huge retreat called GayRomLit. Or perhaps my favorite, the Dreamspinner workshops.
Whenever I go to such retreats I am surrounded by my “people.” People who do what I do or love what I do or appreciate the greater circle of people who do what I do. People who love to write or read, especially gay fiction.
At an event such as these, no one asks why I want to write.
No one thinks writing is easy.
No one thinks it’s silly.
No one thinks that writing doesn’t take any energy. They don’t delegate it as fun and games. They don’t think that writing isn’t “real work.” No a “professional” job.
My fellow writers totally understand the passion for writing, but also know—even though we love it—that it is work. A hell of a lot of work. That it’s not easy. That it can be soul deep exhausting. That creating people from the ether and from our hearts and souls is a drive and a near obsession. We can’t not write. It is what we were born to do, and when you don’t do what you are born to do, you can’t be happy.
It is an incredible blessing to be able to sit across from someone at dinner or a bar or a big breakfast buffet and as casually as can be say, “Wyatt started speaking to me again last night, demanding to have his story told,” and have the other person or persons look back and not so much as blink…. They understand.
It makes coming home from such events difficult sometimes.
Because we writers and readers know we are going back to a world that doesn’t understand. We go back to the people that do blink at us several times and say that writing isn’t a real job. They say that at “anyone can do that. I could write a book if I wanted to.” That say it’s fun and games. They wonder how can it be exhausting to do such a thing. “All you did was sit around and type. I mowed the lawn and fixed the porch and worked on my car. Not that’s work!”
These people—is the word perhaps “Muggles?”—don’t get me. It can be lonely not being understood.
On the other hand, to go to a big event and have a reader hug me and thank me for what I do?
To have fellow writers totally understand?
It strikes as I sit back and think on such events what an incredible blessing it is to not only write, but to have found a way to meet my fellow writers, and and the readers who make my dreams a reality.
Today I am thankful for my “people” and know that I truly lead a blessed life.
Photograph of Zathyn Priest, me and Devon Rhodes by Erica Pike.