Thanks to those of you who commented on my blog about gardening with my granddaughters. I consider myself blessed in having such a wonderful family, albeit a small one, and the leisure to pretty much follow my whims day to day. Today’s been another day of diversion, and tonight’s shaping up to be the same. First I picked up dozens of rooted pachysandra and periwinkle ground cover at bargain prices from the Rensselaer Land and Water Conservancy, which means I’ll have to spend all tomorrow planting them. Then I helped my husband collate materials for an Interfaith Impact of NYS lobby day on Monday, after which we adjourned for a leisurely lunch on the outdoor deck of Brown’s Brew Pub overlooking the Hudson. Tonight I’m ushering at the Troy Music Hall for a show called “The Laughing Ladies,” with four comediennes I’ve never heard of.
True, it’s a gorgeous May Saturday. Nevertheless I feel a twinge of guilt at not hunkering down at my computer. A novelist who dropped out of our upstate NY Sisters in Crime group characterized herself as a professional, and most of the rest of us as amateurs. In other words, she was driven to make a livelihood from her writing, while the rest of us were less committed, happy to see one or more of our books in print but less obsessed with making an all-consuming career of it.
She was probably right, but what’s wrong with being an amateur? I’ve heard professional writers talk about their work schedule, and often it sounds like a terrible grind. Interviewed at the Mystery Writers of America symposiium in NYC recently, both Sue Grafton and James Lee Burke talked of writing long hours, then waking up in the middle of the night to jot down notes on ideas that awaken them from sleep. Burke’s schedule was especially demanding – I’ll check my notes and pass on the details in my next blog.
As for me, I’m happy following my bliss – and now it’s time to sign off, don my black and white usher’s garb and go hear the Laughing Ladies.
What about you? Do you consider yourself a professional writer, or an amateur?