Being a writer is great fun, I recommend it heartily and without reservation. Writing, though, is a bitch and I don’t understand why anyone would put himself through it. The pay stinks (generally), there’s no health insurance, the hours are ridiculous, and when you finally think you are done (you are a fool if you believe that, but go on and roll in it anyway), you pack up your manuscript and kick it out the front door like it’s your kid on his way to the first day of school and then you shut the door and stand there wondering if you’ll ever see the little bastard looking as good, ever again.
Welcome to Purgatory. Now you get to wait there in your shiny new handcuffs for an undetermined and interminable period of time while you wait for some judge to pass sentence upon you for your crimes against literature. I can only think of one thing worse, and that’s doing it all for the first time, wondering the whole while if you’re wasting your time (maybe), deluding yourself (without question), or just indulging your ginormous ego (hang on to that, cause you’re gonna need it).
In my particular case it was my great good fortune to work with Marjorie Braman, then an editor at HarperCollins. She was smart, funny, and she got me. I mean, she got me, man, she understood what I was trying to say, sometimes better than I did. I did not always agree with her but I do believe that she made me a better writer.
Marjorie Braman died this past weekend, after a long battle with cancer.
Much too soon.