A writer friend of mine recently expressed some of her frustrations on Facebook, and how, sometimes, writing can feel thankless. Her post wasn’t hateful or negative, she was merely disheartened. I get it. You pour days and soul into your work, and when it’s all done, the rewards don’t always feel like they compensate the effort.
I was a little crushed that Angst wasn’t picked up for a movie within a week after being published. (I know I’m not alone!) On days that I’m sober and have more realistic expectations, I get frustrated too. I’m a young writer (about the only time you can refer to me as young in any sentence), in the sense that I’ve only published three novels. And, while I feel accomplished, I haven’t met my goals yet, and that can be discouraging. So, when others don’t remind me of why I do it, I have to remind myself.
On a related note, I love Halloween (trust me, this is related). Sometimes I miss the old Halloween when my wife and I would help costume our kids, walk them around the neighborhood for candy and bring them to our parents. I have many fond memories of our daughter, the fanciful unicorn and our son, the lawyer of doom. Now that we aren’t allowed to dress them up anymore, we go to a party hosted by good friends and dress up ourselves. It’s a lot of fun to see who everyone chooses to be. Sometimes clever, sometimes sexy, and often humorous. This year, I broke new ground with my costume that I may not be able to top.
Gotta catch ’em all
I was inspired one night, and my wife agreed to give it a try. I don’t think she completely understood what I had in mind, but considering the success of Pokémon Go this year my idea was timely, so we assembled our team. Angie looked stunning as Ash Ketchum. My dear friend and spokesmodel Cristi rocked the sexy in her Misty costume. I was Pikachu. Yeah.
I’m going to, mostly, save everyone’s eyes by not posting too many pics. (You’re welcome.) After cobbling together the various pieces, I donned the giant, yellow animal slippers, the bright yellow wrestling uniform, and Pikachu headband, to surprise my wife. I’m serious when I say she didn’t stop laughing for ten minutes. The costume went over terribly well at the party (both terrible, and well). Sitting on my muses’ laps and whispering “pika pika” in their ears until they couldn’t contain themselves, posing with friends for pictures that most won’t ever see… well, you get the idea. My friend and muse Marina later messaged and said, “I will be laughing about (your) costume for a while.” I can’t say this strongly enough, that’s exactly why I write!
A few pics made it onto my Instagram and Facebook, and they were received with mixed reactions. As far as I can tell, nobody was really insulted, but most didn’t find it as funny as my close friends did. That’s okay, because it wasn’t for everyone; it was for a specific audience. My friends laughed along with me when I was in costume, and I hope when they look back at pictures it will bring a smile. I think it will. Mission accomplished.
Why I Write
Once and awhile, someone throws shade on my books with a poor review. That used to bother me, and it took me a long time to realize that, like me, my writing isn’t for everyone. Once in awhile, though, I get a good review, or someone sends me a nice message, or I get asked when the next book is coming out. That means I entertained someone. I successfully distracted them from life long enough that they can get lost in a story I created, and often I’m told they had a good laugh over something I’ve written. That’s thanks enough.
Finding my Audience
It took me awhile to find “my tribe” (as my wife calls my close friends.) It sometimes feels like it has taken longer to find my audience of readers. But I feel the wait for both has been completely worth it, and a good reminder of why I write. Pika pika.