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What I would do if I couldn’t be a writer — #MFRWAuthor

When I was a preteen, my sister and I had a friend with whom we frequently had sleepovers. During these nights, we’d pose “what if” questions to each other: What would you choose if you were on a desert island and could only eat one food? What would you choose if you could only listen to one song? What if you were tied up and couldn’t move?

For me, these questions always posed an interesting challenge, but the issue wasn’t deciding how to whittle my options down to one. And yeah, the tied up question was weird.

What it made me want to do was rebel against the restrictions. My problem wasn’t how to pick one option to live with forever — kind of like marrying one food or drink — it was how can I circumvent the rules? I missed the point of the question: picking a favourite food/drink/song. These questions threatened my control. My knee-jerk reaction was to fight them.

If I were tied up and couldn’t move, I’d blink my eyes. There. I moved.

This is my long-winded way of saying that the question of what I would do if I couldn’t be a writer triggered that knee-jerk response.

What would stop me from writing? Paralysis wouldn’t. With today’s technology, I could get around even that. Lack of money hasn’t stopped me and neither has a shortage of time. Whatever restrictions exist, I work around them. Or plough through them.

I suppose if somehow I had no outlet for publishing my work, it would mean I couldn’t be a published author, but I could still write. I’d write for myself. It’s something I’m compelled to do, not something I choose to do.

I guess the real question asked here is what would my job be if I couldn’t publish my work? Editing doesn’t count as writing, so I’d do more of that. I can’t imagine not working with words in some way. Even when I did software/web development fulltime, I wrote. Even when I didn’t publish anything, I wrote, so, you see, I’ve already been there and done that.

You can take the publishing away from the author, but you can’t take the writing away from the writer.

For more posts from other writers on this subject, check out the MFRW 52-Week Challenge post for week 4.

8 Responses

  1. …”you can’t take the writing away from the writer.” Love it! So true!

  2. LOL….a friend posed the desert island question, and after discussing it, I decided I would load my entire book collection, picture albums, and spare batteries into a computer…..then my answer was ‘the computer’.

    This, of course, included the never-needing-charged batteries, but if one happened to fail, I had back ups!

  3. Love how you got around the question. Boils down to where there’s a will there’s a way.

  4. Well said, Val! I admire your determination.

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