The writer's life isn't pretty. It's not all sleep 'til noon, drink scotch 'til dawn, and crank out magic by the gigabyte. It's fraught with anxiety, doubt, panic, and the belief that there is nothing else we'd rather be doing.
"Generally a writer of force is anywhere from 20 years to 200 years ahead of his generation," Charles Bukowski wrote in a 1970 letter to Norman Moser. Bukowski, while not obscure by any means, is arguably the most underrated fiction writer of his time.
Even though I often feel punch drunk, I would not give up this teaching experience for a hill of glittering, gleaming diamonds! So this has made me meditate about a pressing question that all writers must face: How do you balance the life of a scribbler with the demands of a steady job?
I feel the tug of people's reactions when I told them I was a journalist, not some bureaucrat or corporate slave. Most of all, I miss finding the perfect adjective or the wittiest phrase from my internal encyclopedia to finish a sentence.
Ask an artist why he or she does anything to create their art and they will come up with explanations that often baffle the questioner. Especially if he or she must answer questions like: Do you know how your novel will end in advance?