Today it is my pleasure to welcome Benjamin Wallace to my blog, I reviewed Ben’s book “Dumb White Husband Vs. The Grocery Store” a while a go. Like me Ben is a writer with a “Day Job”, and Ben discusses how he gets his writing done. I’m taking notes, because I think I can learn a lesson or two.
Please everyone welcome Ben to the Electronic Scrapbook!
Writer by Night
People constantly ask me how I find the time to write. I tell them I’m a writer by night.
Writer by night. Browse around Twitter a bit and you’ll see this phrase in more than a few bios. It’s kind of romantic isn’t it? As if quill and parchment sit before the impassioned author as the flame of a candle flicks and the muse strums a lire over the literary genius’ shoulder.
I’m a writer by night.
There is no power on Earth that can make me a morning person. If I woke up early to write, my works would be filled with senselessly violent scenes that explored the different sounds a coffee urn would make if it was used to punch someone in the face. And, while that specific scene will now make it into one of my books, such a singular focus on coffee pot face-punching would not make for a lasting career.
I can’t write during the day. That’s when I’m at what has now become known as my day job. They want me to do stuff that isn’t my stuff. And, since they still keep the lights on and bellies full, I can hardly protest. It is still the day job that I shouldn’t quit.
My evenings are dedicated to my family for two reasons. 1) Because they’re pretty cool. I’ve got three kids and they all have stories about what they did during the day, they have pictures that they’ve colored for me and they have new theories about super heroes that, if they don’t share, will cause them to explode. 2) Hollywood has convinced me that if I don’t spend time with them they will all grow up to be criminals or I will have to endure some formulaic life swap with another man to truly appreciate the life I already have. I don’t have time for any life swapping.
So, I’m a writer by night. I tuck in the kids, feed the dogs, yell at the kids to get back into bed, disappear into a home office (which I share with the dogs), step back out to tell the kids to get back into bed and type until I’m exhausted, stopping only to tell the kids to get back into bed. Should the lire-playing muse ever visit me I have no doubt that I would yell at her and threaten to shove the lire places if she didn’t knock off the racket.
Sometimes when I tell people this they still don’t understand it. So, I tell them that I’ve learned a lot being a writer by night. But, there are some things I haven’t learned. I haven’t learned who the next American Idol is. I haven’t learned which bar has the best happy hour. I haven’t learned what the producers/writers/key grips of Lost have been up to. I haven’t learned a thing about what hours the gym is open. Though I probably have learned about the internet video where the dog is dressed as a Wampa. (I’m only human)
Writer by night means writer by night. There’re a lot of us out there. And we love to talk about it. So ask us. But don’t ask us what the score was, who won a Grammy, or if we caught so and so on Letterman/Kimmel/The Daily Show. We don’t know. We were busy writing. By night.
Benjamin Wallace is the author of the bestselling action/adventure comedies Post-Apocalyptic Nomadic Warriors (A Duck and Cover Adventure) and Tortugas Rising as well as the Dumb White Husband short stories. You can learn more at benjaminwallacebooks.com or follow him on twitter @BenMWallace