Writing is not like riding a bike. Even though my retro orange bicycle is covered in a year’s worth of garage dust and post-Irene mud, I can hop on that thing in five seconds flat. My butt might get dirty, but I’d fly through my driveway like I owned it. Wait, I do own it. I also co-own the house, a few Apple products, the landscaping and some kids. The kids say I don’t own them, but I do. All of these things cost money.
So this is why I must write. Oh, and I also need to do it because I dig it. I didn’t set out to become a writer in 1996 because I’m good at fixing cars. I wish. Instead, I am good at generating ideas and stringing sentences together. And I used to get paid for it, like up to $2.50 per word. That was before publishing companies fired their editors and slashed their freelancing budgets due to financial woes. That was also before people read blogs. Don’t get me wrong; I love Dooce, The HuffPo, The Bloggess and I Can Has Cheeseburger. The only problem is that it doesn’t cost anything to read them, so writers don’t get paid much—if anything—to write them. I love writing for CafeMom and Barista Kids, but those jobs don’t fund my Taco Bell addiction.
So after a several-month hiatus—I took some time off after having three kids and birthing three books in the last four years—I’m determined to get back in the saddle. I just finished a piece for Weight Watchers magazine, and I just sent a few pitches out to editors. Unlike riding my bike, though, hitting the keyboard again can be unfamiliar, a little rocky and slightly terrifying. Boo Boo Bunny can’t help me if rejection letters come my way and bruise my ego.
Yet, I am determined. I can do this, right? I’ve watched a lot of OWN lately, so I know a lot of random things for sure. Like this: I’m officially open for business again. I can write, teach, edit and basically do any kind of wordy work for hire. And I’m definitely going outside to dust off that orange bicycle. I should take it to a coffeeshop to write. After all, my MacBook fits in the basket.