Monday, September 9, 2013

Nerdvana and Other Writerly Bonuses

Today may be Monday, but I’m feeling pretty excited. This is unsurprising. I have a number of things to be excited about. This is the first time in a few weeks that my un-air-conditioned apartment is not punishingly hot; my favorite coffee mug has come back into rotation after a few weeks of being mysteriously MIA; and Jeff and I are heading to Michigan this weekend to watch some of our favorite people get married, with even more of our favorite people beside us. Also, I’m excited because being a writer kicks infinite amounts of ass.

There are lots of writing-specific things about being a writer that are obviously pretty great. For instance, I’ve recently hit that point in the novel-writing process where I’m generating more relevant, usable material than random crap—the point where characters develop beyond cool monikers found on baby name websites (WARNING: these are writers’ crack and should be viewed with a timer limiting how long you spend on them) and the hair colors and generically quirky personality traits I’ve somewhat arbitrarily assigned to them. The plot is still a loose outline, but it’s more involved than “interesting characters face interesting obstacles while attempting to achieve interesting goals.” Ah, sweet progress!

Being a full-time writer also comes with additional perks and surprises that help the “I woke up in the middle of the night laughing hysterically about a line of dialogue I thought up in a dream” aspects of the job far outweigh the “I spend all day holed up in a room with my laptop and imaginary people” parts. These aren’t specifically linked to the act of writing itself, but are related to the job and are similarly awesome.

Here are some tidbits of the writerly life that are currently leaving me happy.

1.     I sleep for a human number of hours almost every night. I never knew it was possible to feel so physically rested. This has little to do with writing, besides the fact that I make my own work hours; but it tops the list because I could cry sometimes when I realize that the beautiful, majestic unicorn of the 8-hour sleep is more than just a myth.
2.     Adequate sleep does not displace my inexhaustible need for caffeine; but the fact that I can pee whenever I want, and not just twice a day during set hours, has done away with the requirement to abstain from liquids (caffeinated or otherwise) during work. This, incidentally, is one of the few parts of teaching that I do not miss even slightly.
3.     Now that I sleep for long enough to experience the joys of REM, I am having some pretty incredible dreams! Two nights ago, for instance, I had a dream involving characters from my novel interacting with characters from one of my favorite books and one of my favorite TV shows. I’m going to tentatively dub this phenomenon Nerdvana. I think the only thing that might surpass this is if someone, someday, starts writing crossover fanfiction based on my and others’ books.
4.     I have time to read…whatever books I want to read! Is this real life???
5.     Because it is, apparently, an unshakable part of my identity, I still pull the occasional all-nighter. However, these are precipitated merely by my desire to continue writing the words I am writing. They include only the happiest forms of cursing and swearing, and I never consume 4am Ramen in a fit of need and self-loathing.

In short, my life is sweet.

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