If You’re Really My Friend, You’ll Cook Me Dinner During NaNo

I’ve known since I was little that I wanted to be a writer, and my parents have had time to come to terms with it. It helps that I grew up in an artistic household. My dad went from freelance artist to working for TSR to making video game art and then back to freelance art. Growing up with this lifestyle has made me realize that people can support themselves and a family off of art, but that sometimes it’s really difficult to make ends meet. My parents are one of my primary sources of encouragement and support for my writing, but they also want me to be realistic.

When I went off to college to pursue a Creative Writing degree, they kept suggesting I consider how I was going to support myself and reminding me that most writers had a day job. Up until recently, I always assumed that I would support myself by working the fast food industry, because that’s what people who have English degrees do if they’re not planning on teaching, right? Luckily, I managed to find a desk job—something I never thought I’d see myself doing—that I actually enjoy most of the time. Writing has currently been sidelined to a hobby. At some point I would like to see it become something more. Though I think if I ever quit my day job to pursue writing full time, my mom might have a panic attack.

I love her, but she really does worry too much sometimes.

I’ve discovered that artistic people have a tendency to gravitate toward each other. Maybe it’s because we’re so bad at meeting people outside our own social circles, maybe it’s just because we enjoy being around people who understand. But what this means for me is that I’ve surrounded myself with people who get it. Whether they’re writers, actors, artists, or crafters, they understand what it’s like to get completely wrapped up into a project. They get it when I say, “Not now, I’m writing,” for a month straight.

I know that November is hard on a lot of my friends. They’re either right at my side downing coffee after coffee or they’re twiddling their thumbs saying “Hey, remember when you used to have time to hang out with me? I miss that.” I have friends who attempt to guilt me into spending time with them when I should be writing… I also have friends who will show up at my house and cook me dinner because I haven’t had anything besides coffee and muffins for the past week.

Overall, I think my friends and family are pretty supportive of my decision to write. Hopefully they’ll continue to remain supportive when I disappear off the face of the earth in November. If not, well… somebody that acts or looks suspiciously like them—but would be a completely unintentional coincidence—might find themselves in a tortuously painful situation in my next short story or novel.

At the age of six, Eliza was certain of two things. The first was that she had stories to tell. The second was that she had no talent for illustrating them herself. Talent or no, she still wrote and illustrated her first book, one that should be located and locked away if only to prevent her parents from embarrassing her terribly by showing it off alongside baby pictures. Now she spends her days writing stories that she isn't embarrassed to show off after a little bit of polishing.

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