Spiders & Rats

Do you know when everything around you seems to be trying to tell you something? I caught Spiderman 2 on TV the other day, never having seen it in the theatres (because I don’t get around to seeing anything in the theatres), and I really really enjoyed it, except for that bit about him giving up being Spiderman & then deciding to be Spiderman again because it made me think about writing.

Then we went to see Ratatouille the other night – in the theatre, even! – and that was kind of about being what you really are, what you’re really good at. you know, “everyone can write.”

I mean cook.

I was talking with another writer the other day about an essay I was having a hard time getting at & explained that you know, when writing is going well it’s horrible, & when it’s not going well it’s torture.

But the thing about writing that’s the hardest on me is the uncertainty; this freelance life just isn’t good for my body. I want the stability back of having a regular job & a regular paycheck, except then I see movies like Ratatouille or Spiderman 2 and I think that I have to write. Not because I’m a genius, but because I know it’s what I’m supposed to be doing.

I think.

6 Replies to “Spiders & Rats”

  1. “There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.”

    Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith

    Writing is very much a difficult undertaking where you share a piece of your inner soul with those who choose to read your work. Human beings rarely value anything that comes easy, so your challenges produce value far beyond what seems incredibly obvious.

    I too am an independent, and have been sans a regular paycheck for a number of years. Savings helps to provide a buffer against the slow arrival of income, as does a standard of living that can comfortably exist within the realm of your income stream. Living paycheck to paycheck (which is how most Americans live) as an independent is the fastest way to a heart attack.

    Finally, I’m sure that taking a 9 to 5 job would provide security, safety and stress relief, but it would require that you sell your soul. You need to follow what your “belly button” is telling you. If you need to write, find a way to make that happen. Don’t sell out if you don’t have to.


  2. I understand that feeling. When working the 9to5, you spend most of those 40+ hours thinking of what you really want to be doing your life. You begin to regret that wasted time and become resentful of that “regular paycheck.”

  3. I recently (last week) left a 9 to 5 job, with three or four months ahead of me during which I can find out if I want to be an independent. I’m already petrified. I’ll try to write for this first month, but after that, I think I’ll go running back to an office. Not because that’s what my gut tells me, but because NYC seems to require it of a single person. Oy.

  4. Sorry. What I meant to say (seriously) was: You’re an inspiration for those who want the writing/thinking life. Keep it up!

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