'Hate Writing; Love Having Written'
Contributor
Written by
Margie Reins Smith
September 2009
Contributor
Written by
Margie Reins Smith
September 2009
By Margie Reins Smith I’m writing a novel, so, when people ask what I do, I say (albeit, sheepishly) “I’m a writer.” I’ve wanted to say this since age 11, when I became enchanted with “The Secret Garden,” and a series of sappy dog stories by Albert Payson Terhune: “Lad, a Dog,” “Further Adventures of Lad,” “Buff, a Collie,” “Bruce” and more. What do writers do? If I don’t have appointments or scheduled activities, here’s my typical week day: Get up, shower, eat breakfast. Make coffee. Alas, no morning newspaper, so breakfast is short and sweet. Take steaming cup of black coffee to in-home office. Fire up computer. Wait while some dumb program called Registry Booster does its thing. Can’t figure out how to get Registry Booster to go away. Welcomed it once, lured by slick ad that promised to make computer zip along at breakneck speed, then discovered Registry Booster wanted me to PAY for this service. Changed mind. Hit delete. Put in trash. Emptied trash. Registry Booster returned. Hit delete again. Registry Booster returned. Continues to return every time I boot up. Say nasty things about Registry Booster, but put up with little dance it does every morning before my computer is ready to get down to business. Should start writing. Chapter 33 is next. Almost finished with first draft. Check email. Open five forwarded jokes and videos from friends. Chuckle softly. (All are mildly amusing, even second or third time around.) Answer email. Write new emails. Check grossepointetoday.com for new posts. Read posts. Go to Detroit Free Press Web site. Flip through pages and read stuff that interests me, ending with Luann, Zits, Mother Goose & Grimm, Grand Avenue, Speed Bump and Non Sequitur. Fire up printer. Print Freep’s daily Sudoku. Begin Sudoku. Put Sudoku aside. Replenish coffee. Scrutinize backyard bird feeders and bird bath for interesting birds. Put load of laundry in washer. Take phone call. Make phone call. Empty dishwasher. Think about what to make for dinner. Check email again. Answer new email. Check Facebook. Read new Facebook posts. Check blog. Check blog hit counter to see if anybody has read blog. Alas, nobody. One game of Scrabble couldn’t hurt. Play Scrabble for 45 minutes. Check email. Check blog counter. Open document labeled Chapter 33. Type “Chapter 33" at top of page. Format page. Kick self for not figuring out how to save format (line spacing, paragraph indents, page numbering) so every time new document is created, format will be the same. Put laundry in dryer. Replenish coffee. Horray for caffeine. Go to bathroom. Boo, caffeine. Make To Do list. Check email. Check Facebook. One more game of Scrabble because personal score is nearing 400, longtime goal. Lose. One more game. Google Alzheimer’s Disease. One of novel’s characters has it. Novel is about old people – scratch old; elderly people – scratch elderly; mature people – scratch mature. Novel is about senior citizens, their unique problems and relationships. Take phone call from walking buddy. Go for walk with two friends. Consider this important, as Surgeon General says seniors should get 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Wonder why Surgeon General is labeled “general.” Also, why Attorney General is a “general.” Make note to self: Google this later. Eat lunch. Open Chapter 33 again. Write. When I visited Ernest Hemingway’s home in Key West, I loved seeing the actual room in which he wrote. It was a loft above his pool house. He got to his workroom by walking across a catwalk from the second floor bedroom of his big, high-ceilinged Spanish-style Colonial home. The tour guide assured us that every morning, hangover or no hangover, Hemingway walked across the swaying bridge to this workroom and sat down in front of his typewriter, where he wrote. He worked from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and produced 300 to 700 words. Every day. Then he took a nap or went fishing. By cocktail hour, he was on a stool in Sloppy Joe’s Bar. He stayed late and drank a lot. But he was a writer. He wrote. Every single day. I’m not a writer. Not yet. ########################

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Comments
  • Julie Jeffs

    Wow, didn't know anyone else had a day so much like mine ... scary almost. I retired from a real career and now call myself a writer, well at least to myself. I am in the midst of a memoir and if the stupid games on facebook weren't so addictive I might be much further along. Started a blog which helps because even on the days when I'm somewhat stuck on the writing of the memoir I at least write something. You wrote today so you are a writer. I mean who knows Hemingway may have stumbled over to his workroom and just stared at his typewriter, several days not writing a word. Best of luck on your novel.