by Sarah J. Clemens
Originally published on 1.14.17 by Quiet Fury Books
The view from my bed is the Manhattan skyline high up in a sweeping loft with an open balcony that stretches twenty feet in both directions. Between the smell of coffee percolating in the industrial styled kitchen and the patter of raindrops on the roof on a sleepy Sunday morning, my senses are being pushed into overdrive and I am compelled to start on the second chapter of my novel.
The phone rings and it’s my agent – two publishers are interested in the sequel I’m writing to my debut novel, The Empty Room. It’s been at the top of The New York Times Bestsellers List for fifteen weeks. I glance down at the phone screen and see an alert from the bank – another royalty check has been deposited. This is as good as it gets.
Give me a break.
That is the day in a life of a writer that I dream of – I actually do dream of it.
And some parts of it are true. I have received royalty checks. The last one I received was for $7.94. I don’t live in a Manhattan apartment though, and in fact, I live in a town and a place that most people have probably never heard of, with a simple life that most people would neither look down their nose at nor particularly aspire to.
And that’s fine.
“But at the end of the process, at the end of the story, there is a world.”
Because as a writer – as a world builder, and a master manipulator of the English language, I and other writers have the ability to do something that a banker, a business manager, or even a doctor cannot do: transport readers into another world.
My day starts when I wing myself out of bed at the crack of dawn at the behest of my dog who has been relentlessly scratching at the door certain he will die of starvation if not fed immediately.
After several hours of servitude at my place of employment, I sink into my chair behind a desk stuffed into a spare bedroom and I fire up an eight-year-old laptop, plug in my flash drive and pick-up where I left off the day before. Some days the writing flows and I build upon what I wrote the day before. Other days, it’s short and stodgy, and what I’m writing will end up being the victim of a delete key in future months.
But at the end of the process, at the end of the story, there is a world – be it a mystery, a love story, a fantasy that will transport readers, even if only for an hour, away from the day-to-day trials of their lives. That is my job. That is a job I take seriously. And so even when I leave my own world building and venture back to my bed to drift away to my Manhattan loft, I will awake again the next day to create a new world for you – for you to read and drift away from whatever you are hoping to escape from.
I am a writer and that is a day in my life,