What it’s like

“Wow! You write books! How exciting!”

I hear that all the time. And it is exciting—sometimes. Mostly, though, it’s exhausting. And grueling. And it results in a whole lot of self-loathing and feelings of utter failure. Writers torture themselves. They study every word, type them, erase them, type them, erase them. It’s a lonely life, void of any real human contact. As the great Leigh Montville once told me, “We live in a cave for two years. We come out for a month of light. Then back in the cave.”

Right now, I’m in the deepest, darkest cavern a man can imagine. The big red bag used to be the wife’s. She used it for the beach—toys and lotion and bathing suits and the like. I stole it. Now I lug it everywhere I go. It’s loaded with books and clips and notes, and weighs significantly more than my 7-year-old daughter. When I come to places like Borders with it, I sorta look like a well-dressed homeless dude, collecting shit in a torn bag.

4 thoughts on “What it’s like”

  1. It’s still better than spending 5 days a week on an assembly line in Dayton, Ohio, overseeing the microrobot that’s installing the satellite radio in the six hundred Hyundais that pass by you every day, knowing that if the robot fucks up, you lose your job

  2. Well-dressed???

    I’m jesting, surely. You’re lucky to have such a great gig. Think about all the freedom it gives you to spend with your family. Your “cave” is Starbucks. Put that in perspective, my good man.

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