Writing is one of the best jobs in the world. It’s difficult, but certainly not in the same way that firefighting or Alaskan crab fishing or coal mining is difficult.
Some days I can work in just my boxers, sit on my bed with my laptop, and listen to music while I type away. Amazing, isn’t it?
Sort of. With other jobs, you have to get up early, get dressed, and go to the office. Sounds unappealing, but these dull routines are what make jobs feel real, unlike abstract, wishy-washy writing.
When writing, there is no boss to keep you off of YouTube. And when you are in the writing zone, people sense it and love to barge into your workspace and chat with you. No one else truly recognizes that you work, partially because writing doesn’t look that hard, partially because they cannot see the results of your daily efforts. No writer lasts long if he feels like his work isn’t worthwhile, so he needs to manufacture his own feelings of legitimacy.
Once I moved to New York City, I knew I had to escape my deskless, windowless bedroom. I decided to join a private library in the Upper East Side. Now, I wake up early. I get dressed. I walk ten minutes to the library. Other members there also write. My new routine normalized my job in the best way possible.
Obviously, most people don’t have the luxury of joining a private library, but other options exist. Public libraries are wonderful and allegedly quiet. Coffeehouses are nice for a bit of bustle, as well as buffet restaurants where you don’t have to worry about annoying a server. Parks are nice for pen-and-paper writing or for typing on an AlphaSmart Neo. Churches can be serene and are open many hours of the day. Bank lobbies have chairs, as do hotel lobbies. You could also shove a chair in a closet at home. Better than the bedroom. Anywhere but the bedroom! Too much of the rest of your life already intersects there.
Once you start leaving early every day to go write, people will begin to comment. “You sure are writing a lot!” Wouldn’t it be amusing if they said that to anyone else? “Geez, Tina you sure are going to your 9 to 5 a lot!” or “Wow, Bill, I’ve noticed you’ve gone to school five times this week. What’s up?”
But you won’t take it personally. The recognition of your hard work will make you feel legitimate. And that one factor will be stronger than any other to keep you from throwing in the towel. You’ll be too legit to quit.