Welcome to Ned’s Nickel’s Worth on Writing, that time each week when I scoop the coffee beans of writing wisdom that have been slow-roasted over 15 years as a columnist, grind them up, brew and filter it while making a loud “Whhhshhhhhhhhrrrrrr” sound from the corner of my mouth, scrape the resulting coffee creation into a mug, and then offer it to you to enjoy before running across the street to grab myself a mocha latte from Starbuck’s.
It’s a weekly feature Publishers’ Digest has called “…Tips similar to a triple espresso, leaving writers shaky and a little paranoid.”
Or what The Master of Horror® Stephen King heralded as “…Another reason I drink Earl Gray.”
But enough accolades!
Let’s face it, most people don’t understand why we do what we do as writers. The average person, if given a choice between writing a 250-word essay or having their bare butts tased, will have their pants around their ankles before you can say “AAAAGGGGHHHHH!” Still, thanks to social media there are more people than ever tapping on keyboards. But let’s say the Internet permanently crashed tomorrow because of some catastrophic failure — such as a leaked Brad and Angelina sex tape. Most people, once they stopped staring at a blank monitor, wouldn’t grab a note pad and keep writing without social media.
But writers would.
The question is why? The money? Prestige? Free wine at writers group meetings? Sure, those are all good reasons, although the majority of writers must “supplement” their writing income with a second job, such as working 40 hours a week prestigiously restocking the shelves at Walmart. And that free wine at writers group meetings? It usually comes from a box. Whether as a hobby, a pursuit of passion or for a living, we write because we can’t not write. It is a part of our psyche; it is an integral part of who we are; it is an extension of ourselves that defines us as individuals, much like Nicki Minaj’s hair extensions; without them we’d just be another leggy female rapper singing with Perfect-Pitch enhancement.
Ok, maybe not exactly like that, but you get the point. We write for the same reason we breathe: Because it’s engrained in us in order to remain alive.
Unlike the literary horse I just beat to death.
So why am I bringing this up? For a couple of reasons. The first is because I am going on vacation for two weeks beginning this Sunday. And though that actually has nothing to do with this post, it just seemed important to mention here since I will be sleeping in, drinking margaritas before 10 a.m. and living a care-free existence for 14 days.
And you won’t be.
That’s unless you are Ross Murray who, like all Canadians, lives that way every day thanks to the metric work system.
Fine. That’s not entirely true. I’ll probably wait until noon before having any margaritas. Why? Because I will be working on an eBook release of Ned’s Nickel’s Worth on Writing.
WOAH! EVERYONE CALM DOWN! You’re scaring the cat.
As I mentioned last month, I’ve been thinking about putting together all of the last couple of years’ NWOWs into an eBook, which would allow me to expand a bit more on some of the topics I felt — like my last hair cut — got cut a little short. My goal is to make it as much about writing tips as it is a writer’s survival guide offering insights, inspiration and the occasional kick in key strokes we all need sometimes as writers. Though the eBook version of Humor At the Speed of Life was recently released, my publisher took care of it. This will be my own venture and I will be learning as I go.
Or to put it another way, I have no idea what I’m doing and may start drinking as early as 7 a.m. before this is over. I will also be posting a couple of handpicked NWOWs to re-run for the next two Fridays so folks who recently started following (Hey, Homeland Security!) can get an idea of what the NWOW is all about.
I know what you’re thinking, but I feel obligated to let them know what they’re getting into.
In addition, even though I’ll be on vacation, I will continue to write blog posts and offer updates on my NWOW progress because — Hey, I’m a writer!
And a leggy one, if I do say so myself.