Living As A Writer–What I Don’t Wish

I read quite a lot, mostly novels, which is what I most love to write. So when the thought came that of all the books I’ve read, even masterpieces and others that exhibit wit, style, plotting, wisdom or whatever I admire and may consider beyond my ability, I have never thought anything like: I wish I had written that novel.

Not that I’m immune to envy. Not hardly. The reason I don’t wish I had written those books is that they are not my stories. This may be nothing profound, only a psychological quirk, a symptom of narcissism or whatever mental illness I have, but it feels as if certain stories are mine and others simply aren’t.

Other creations, such as songs, inventions, even phrases, I often wish for one reason or another were mine. Stories, nope.

No doubt all of us who admit to being writers have been told countless times something like, “Boy, do I have a story for you.” I wonder how many of those offers have ever been acted upon.

A common response to the question “Where do you get your stories?” is: out of the newspaper. So apparently this feeling of mine isn’t universal.

Since I get older almost every day, and sometimes life wearies me, and I wonder if I’ll ever truly retire from this vocation, which at times feels hard and draining; whenever the question arises if I might survive long enough to retire, I conclude, sure, I can retire after I finish the stories currently residing at one depth or another in my mind. Right now, the count of novel length stories is eight.

Back to work.



  1. Can you ever stop writing? …. I think the question for us writers is, “Can we ever stop being us?” I don’t think anyone can ever retire from a profession that is them. So, I’m sorry friend, I don’t think retirement will ever happen for you… not from writing. … Not that I really think you want to 😉

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