The world is crazier than most people know. But I know. I was a clinical social worker for forty years. I am a witness. I retired from social work to write about the sad, the mad, and the savage; with whom I have spent most of my life. I have decided to translate these stories into fiction, because, as a co-worker once said, "You couldn't make this sh*t up. No one would believe you."

Monday, October 18, 2010

Writing v. Eating

The eternal dilemma of the artist: shall I write? or shall I eat?

It's weird, but I'm reaching an age where I'd rather work. I'm too fat anyhow. I have crested that wonderful hill where you wake up one morning and your middle takes up most of the bed. All your clothes have shrunk. In dull meetings you find yourself playing with your spare tire, wondering, "Who's my new friend?" And, most of the meetings are dull. In fact, everything seems dull, except....writing.

Here's hoping my boss isn't reading this.

Don't get me wrong. I have a yankee work ethic that could shame the most devoted lard ass. I probably couldn't do a bad job if I tried. But my no longer in it.

Where the hell did my heart go?

Right now, it's in Jane of the Jungle. I'd rather be her anyhow. Jane of the Jungle is about second chances. Jane gets the chance to cast her fate to the wind and triumph. I want some of that!

So I spend almost all my free time and okay, I confess, a little of the time I'm supposed to be working, writing, rewriting, and since I'm close to publication, marketing marketing marketing. That's because I want this book to sell. Why?

  1. So that I can quit my day job. 
  2. So that I can share what is dear to my heart with other people.
  3. So that I can inspire hope in other people.
  4. So that I can inspire hope in myself.
Jane of the Jungle is the first of series, and they're all about second chances and living life intensely to the very end. Since we're all going to live to be older than the Earth's crust, we have to live deeply. Who the hell wants to ride the rocking chair for 30 years? 

It's not about fame or money. The truth! Okay, money would be nice, but it's not necessary. I want enough money to get by once I can collect social security, so that I don't have to be a greeter at Walmart. As for fame, I'd rather roast in hell. I value my privacy. Val Kilmer tried to eat his breakfast in a local restaurant in Santa Fe one day and so many people stared at him I think he lost his appetite.

So, good people out there, wish me luck. I am setting out on my second career, here's hoping it pays at least enough to put gas in the car. As for eating, that's a luxury. All I really need is chocolate anyway.


  1. Your heart went for a cheeseburger.

  2. After working all my life with the same vicious work ethic you have, it dawned on me that common sense has disappeared from the work place to be replaced by a worship of mediocrity -- if you work for others. So even though I cannot really afford it, I am retired. The second chance/second career thing is so wonderful as to be almost unspeakable: you aim for excellence without knowing or caring if you reach, as the work is its own reward, are responsible only to your self, your metabolism is slow enough that starving is virtually impossible, and during the cool months TJ Maxx sells dark chocolate cheap !! Viva seconds !!

  3. it is so funny that you posted this today..i have just quit my day job to pursue my creative path and i can attest that action alone helps you shed 20 of luck!

  4. My heart is no longer in it either - I have a counter on my blog counting down the days until I'm FREE! I have a great job and I work with great people, it's just that I've done it long enough and don't feel I have anything fresh to offer. I guess you could say I'm working for that great pension I'll eventually receive.

  5. Wishing you lots of luck!! I've been thinking a lot about second chances lately.

    LOL - Gas and chocolate...that's about right!

  6. I think it's funny that you post this today as well. My career is to young, I cannot put it down just yet, so I find, in those early, early morning hours a different writing v. eating dilemma.

    Hungry = Awake, a little crazy certainly, but writing

    Full = Sleep

    I should choose to be hungry more often. I might get something done.

    Good luck with the new future.

  7. @CN: If my heart ate a cheeseburger, will my stomach get gas?
    @Lian: I really dig that part about the slow metabolism and cheap chocolate!
    @DaniKeith: bless your heart and good luck! We can blog each other about food, so we don't forget...
    @DLK: thanks for the good wishes. I'm assuming you mean gas for the car?
    @Jane: boy can I relate. When you've done something so long...what is new?
    @Andrew: keep on with your career until 1. you have done it so long like Jane, there is nothing new to contribute or 2. your writing takes center stage, oh, yeah.

  8. I love being retired. I was retired for five years before I had the incredible realization "I don't have to do anything I don't want to." Now I write because I love to write. It would be great to make some money at it, but I'll keep on writing anyway.

  9. I love your post, love your humor, and unfortunatly can relate all too well. My problem is that I don't see writing OR eating as a dilema - I do both (and shouldn't). I am at the age where EVERYTHING I eat sits somewhere on my hips, butt, you name it!

    Loved the post - will come back for more - hope you visit mine (would love some of your spunk and humor spread all over)!

  10. @ KK: Amen, sister. we'll write and write, and how much you wanna bet we make a coin or two just because we refuse to stop> :)

    @Meryl: I most definitely will visit you, follow and comment. We gotta stick together. As for the food, check out Lian's comment above: we're at an age where starvation is impossible.

  11. Janey-Love your sense of humor-so refreshing. I have to confess I've been a lazy bum all my life. My heart was never in any kind of work, but always in having fun. That's why I write aphorisms, and not novels. Writing can be serious business if you play it that way, and I just don't have the temperament for that kind of stick-to-it-ness. I like my freedom and happiness too much.

  12. NP, bless you, you know how to live. Kudos!

  13. I like the way you are able to use humour to reduce stress. Loss of humour is the doorway to sadness and eventually illness. Eating is also a major tool for reducing stress unless we eat too much