Top Ten Reasons to Become a Writer

Today is Free-for-All-Friday, and thus is my choice. I was skimming through some earlier posts and came across this one…that cracks me up even now. So, I thought I would post again for the benefit of the newbies and to give my loyal followers a good laugh. Come on, you know this still makes you laugh. “Easily amused” falls in the writer job description, right?

I still remember the day I told my family I was leaving corporate sales to become a writer. I think what they heard was something akin to, “Leaving any feasible way to make a living and feed myself. Joining a cult. Cool-Aid.” Or something close to that.

If you are a writer, then you know we share this collective pain.

People ask, “So what do you do for a living?”

“I’m a writer.”

“No, I mean what do you really do? What’s your job?”


So, to repay you for your pain, here’s a laugh at our collective expense.

Top Ten Reasons to Become a Writer

10. Therapy is getting too expensive

When you become a writer, the first thing that becomes clear is that if you are at all interesting enough to be able to write good fiction, then you are seriously screwed up. As in years of expensive therapy screwed up. Writers are not normal.

So why not take all those notebooks filled with letters to your Inner Child and turn those babies into cold hard cash? I say, it is time for us to demand Inner Child Labor. Instead of letting that ungrateful punk float around in our limbic brain, it is high time we make the little twerp pull his weight.

Have anger issues coupled with violent fantasies? You are a born horror author.

Attend sex therapy to deal with a porn addiction? Erotica author.

Have “Mommy” issues? Write guest posts for Top Ten Blogs.

9. Revenge, Duh

What better way to get back at that jerk who stood you up for the big dance? Or the toad who slept with your best friend? You got it. Become a writer. Surely you can think of a story that is in need of a pathetic cross-dressing hermaphrodite who gets killed by an inflatable doll. Slap the ex’s name on him. Just change the first letter of his last name. Heck, use your newfound power to help out your friends. Surely they can give you lists. Find a need for a character who has a tragically small penis or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Become a writer and no one will cross you again lest they be found wearing hot pants while soliciting prostitution from sheep at the petting zoo in your next story. And hey, with the Internet, EVERYONE can be published.

8. High School Reunion Coming Up

So maybe you have done nothing with your life in the past 20 years. Who cares? All you have to do is find some out of print author and borrow his name for a bit. Hey, not like he is using it. Just tell those jerks you wanted to impress that you write under a pseudonym, and now you are “in between books.” Think of it this way, you can hold your head high that “you” accomplished something they never did, and, since you won’t have to see those wankers for another 5-10 years, no one will be the wiser. If you do get found out, it is just free publicity for the struggling dope you impersonated.

7. You drink a lot and it was either become a writer or attend AA

Enough said…

6. Can hang out with our friends somewhere other than the Renaissance festival

Renaissance festivals and Trekkie conventions can get expensive, especially when you work at a doughnut shop. And while living with Mom does help off-set the cost of rent, World of Warcraft isn’t exactly free. Form a critique group with your pals and all vow to become famous writers. Hey, you still get to hang out and talk about elves and wizards and what you would do if you were a vampire, only now it is considered “work.”

5. Because what other job comes with a dress code of thrift store jeans and juvenile T-shirts?

Do you just love Superman, Mickey Mouse, or even Mr. T? I pity the fool! Feel like expressing yourself on 100% pre-shrunk cotton? Hey, if you were a 37 year old accountant or airline pilot, others might think that an entire wardrobe comprised of Xena, Firefly and Battlestar Galactica T-Shirts meant you were emotionally immature or “touched in the head.” Now that you’re a writer, you can be…eccentric. Hell, throw in a beret just to be extra annoying.

4. Because “writer” sounds so much more glamorous than “unemployed” or “Starbucks Hot Beverage Consultant”

Refer to Number 8.

3. Because it is the next best thing to having your own reality show

Have a whacked out family or embarrassing habit? Write about it. The great thing is that now EVERYTHING is a tax write-off. Have an insatiable coffee, book and movie addiction? Then you are writer material. So go ahead and collect action figures, souvenir shot glasses and rare comic books. Do a “Tour of Pubs” and get plastered as you sample every beer under the sun. Or take that trip to Texas and ride the mechanical bull at Billy Bob’s. Just make sure you write about it, and then it is all deductable “research”…and the pictures your so-called friends post on their Facebook page of you being hauled away for Drunk and Disorderly Conduct are less “mortally embarrassing” and more “priceless promotion.” Just make sure you ask Denny’s for a reciept before they throw you out.

2. Because your family told you that you should be a doctor.

Don’t get along with your parents? Hey, go big or go home. What better way to insure your status as black sheep of the family than announce that you are giving up everything to become a writer? Short of announcing that you just converted to Scientology or that you sold all your stuff and are moving to a commune in New Mexico, telling the folks that you want to be a writer is guaranteed to make you the definitive pariah. And the plus side is that there is no studying chemistry or staying up all night to memorize Kreb’s Cycle. Just think of it this way, they will forgive you once you’re published anyway.

1. Because you can be….GOD!

Yeah, now you get a glimpse of how it feels to be the Big Guy. What other job, short of an IRS agent or a meter maid gives the raw power of being able to make or destroy lives with ….a pen?

Did I miss something? Do you guys have a reason you would like to add? Put it in the comments! Just think of this as group therapy without the privacy :D. What’s your favorite of the top ten posted? Can you relate? Share and we promise to laugh at yo-….um, be compassionate and supportive.

Happy writing!

Until next time….


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    • Terrell Mims on October 1, 2010 at 2:05 pm
    • Reply

    I loved this blog the first time around.

    • Caroline Clemmons on October 1, 2010 at 3:35 pm
    • Reply

    I missed this the first time around, so I am grateful you reposted it. Hilarious and all (mostly) true! I intend to print it out and save it for down times.

    1. I know…it still cracks me up every time I read it. How egotistical is that? Bwa ha ha ha ha. Hey, I’m easily amused. Yes, I laugh at the Aflac duck and the Capitol One vikings too. 😀

    • Laurie Wood on October 1, 2010 at 7:23 pm
    • Reply

    I’m following in Caroline’s footsteps and printing this out. Hilarious! And I’m still thinking how to work a few ex-female friends in to a murder mystery, lol. Yes, writing’s very cathartic!

  1. Very very funny. And more than just a bit true in my case.

    • Mr Uku on October 4, 2010 at 11:12 am
    • Reply

    Brilliantly funny.
    Might I add, reason 11: I’m rubbish at everything else.

  2. Missed it first time so happy to read it now. Laughed aloud! It’s also great to be sitting around looking out the window and telling a family member who asks, “What ARE you doing?” this: I’m writing!

    And one has a good excuse to sit in a cafe and eavesdrop. Aside from being just a general nosy parker. 😀

    Yes! Those Capital One vikings crack me up every time…

  3. Because I get to be the star in my own story. And I can downplay all my faults and faulty choices with good prose. (And I get to paint others as the bad guy — it’s cathartic even if I change all the names and locations.)


    1. Because I get to be a superhero-ninja-spy. Rock on! I totally should have added that. Great addition!

  4. There are a lot of good reasons to be a writer, but the reason I write is simple. I write fiction. What I end up with at the end of the day is mine. No one can take that away from me. It is my tale, crafted in the way I wish it to be. There is only a small percentage of people who can say they have created something truly unique.

  5. Great post, I like it. It’s really
    usefull to get an idea and make
    this job more colourfull, thank you

    • CMStewart on October 14, 2010 at 3:58 pm
    • Reply

    Because I always knew I would be a writer- some day- and now “some day” has arrived! Thanks for this hilarious list, and thank you for writing “We Are not Alone”- I’m going through the steps in your book and, in a sea of raised eyebrows, (friends and family) I feel like someone is rooting for me as a writer.

    1. I feel you on the sea of raised eyebrows, LOL. I have actually made a living as a writer for years and it has only been in the last year that my family has recognized it as a “real” job, ha ha ha. Rock on! Keep on keeping on and let me know if there is any way I can further support your success, :D.

  1. […] take a note out of Kristen Lamb’s book and call this a free for all friday and address my own reasons to be a writer.  On rainy days like today when I doubt my own abilities, why not?  So here they […]

  2. […] Today is Free-for-All-Friday, and thus is my choice. I was skimming through some earlier posts and came across this one…that cracks me up even now. So, I thought I would post again for the benefit of the newbies and to give my loyal followers a good laugh. Come on, you know this still makes you laugh. "Easily amused" falls in the writer job description, right? I still remember the day I told my family I was leaving corporate sales to become a w … Read More […]

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