My youngest child wants to be a writer. I suppose I should be pleased that she wants to follow in her mother's footsteps, but I'm more frightened than flattered.
She's a gifted girl - quite possibly brilliant. I had hoped she'd follow her first inclination - well, not her first, which was to be an astronaut, so, her second, which was to be a doctor.
What writer couldn't use a doctor in the family? A lawyer would be nice, too, but I wouldn't wish that staid occupation on either of my kids. But - a writer?
Don't get me wrong, I've encouraged both my girls to explore the wonderful, weird world of writing. I edited my eldest daughter's novel, a fantasy that takes place in another realm, far far away. My youngest and I co-wrote a teen comedy movie script. I have always encouraged them to express themselves. And I have noticed that my youngest child has a way with words.
Why, then, am I more dismayed than pleased by her latest career aspirations?
The life of a writer is frustrating and fraught with disappointments. When I started out I, like most young writers I think, imagined I would some day write a novel of great worth - a tome that would illuminate the world and its inhabitants AND make me pots of money.
I hadn't been writing all that long when I met up with a would be film director. He got me writing film shorts, and before I'd even graduated from university I was writing screenplays on spec AND getting paid for smaller scripts written for the National Film Board of Canada. In my first year out of university, I earned $17,000.00 as a freelance writer. And people said it would be difficult! My head swelled.
And then? And then the life of a writer got tough. Over the years I've worked in other areas, sometimes successfully, and sometimes spectacularly unsuccessfully.
The truth, which I came to not very long ago, is that I must be a writer. I have no choice.
And that's what I'll tell my daughter. If she must be a writer, then so be it. But if she can avoid it, she should. Because there is a real risk of becoming bitter - in fact, that's the basic assumption about the personality of the writer - bitter.
There's no knowing where the next dollar is coming from, no way to leave your work behind you when you finish for the day, no real 'holidays' to be taken, no pension plan or insurance benefits to protect an old writer, a sick writer...
But if she can't avoid it, well, she's in for a wild ride, one that will shape the way she sees the world, experiences life, interacts with other people, and colours her self-image. It can be fun, it is exhilerating, and sometimes it hurts, a lot.
Good luck to her, and all new writers, young or old. It's a scary job and no, not one I'd reccommend...but as for me, I love it.
- Madeline Moore
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- Wild Card, 2006. Winner of "best oral sex scene" - Scarlet Magazine. Amanda's Young Men, 2009. Excerpted in Scarlet Magazine; Juicy Bits. Sarah's Education, 2009. Hit the #1 spots on Amazon.co.uk adult fiction & adult romance best seller lists. Jade Magazine bestowed the best cover art, 2009 award on Sarah's Education. "Get Up, Stand Up!" which appeared in The Cougar Book (Logical-Lust) won me the title 'Story Teller of the Year 2011' at The Erotic Awards, London, UK. Sarah's Education took the #3 spot on a list of the 30 most titillating titles of all time, as reported in English Daily Mail ;Female; Nov. 12, 2012. Debutante, a petite novel for e-publisher Imprint Mischief, (Harper-Collins) pubbed in 2012. I tutor writing students and am a member of the WGC. D.M. Thomas said: Madeline Moore writes great sex without metaphor and that's not easy to do. Kris Saknussemm said: You're a good egg, Madeline Moore. I am a good egg who writes great sex without metaphor! Yippee!