I wanted to shout, “No, I’m not retired. I write. I’m an author.”
When I told a friend this, she said, “You don’t have to be.” A relative asked, “Do you actually think you’re going to get rich and famous?”
I laughed. People who don’t write don’t understand the work and angst of someone who has to tell his story. They don’t know how it feels to sit in front of a computer for hours thinking up characters and plots. Outside the sun is shining, but inside, I am caged up in the world that I have created. For weeks and months and years I work on getting it just right— every sentence, every word, every nuance in its correct place and used properly.
At last my book is written, and I send it off to an editor. When he is finished, I must rewrite pages, maybe even chapters. After more months and rewriting, my book is published.
But who am I to expect people to want to read my story? I am a nobody in the world of book writers. No one knows my name. Some of my family and friends don’t read my books, even when I give them one.
So why do I write when I could be retired? I am driven by my message. I think my small voice might make a difference in one life, or two, or three, or more. If it does, all the hours spent doing research, writing my story, editing, and getting published will be worth it. Donna Wittlif