Fully Exposed – Finito!

Posted by on May 1, 2014

DSC_8907I was whining to Matthew yesterday that I got nothing for today. Nothing.

My life is blissfully uneventful (unless you count mopping up gallons of water, but I’m not going to talk about that anymore because, hey, people are dealing with entire houses flooding. I only have “seepage” – good problems).

So, I am pretty boring.

If you’ve followed this project, you already know that most days I sit at my kitchen counter writing for several hours by myself.

At least one day a week, I get totally CRAZY and go to the cafe to write and whoop it up there with a latte.

This is the writerly life for me.

I’m a true believer that if you sit butt-in-chair for at least three hours a day, you can write a novel in three months, just like Stephen King says. It usually takes me twice that long to make the novel pretty enough for someone else to read, but not always. Sometimes that only takes another three months and BAM — off it goes to my agent.

I dream of the day when I can eek out a very, very simple living from my writing. I don’t need much. If you’re a writer, the best advice I can give you is to keep a low nut. Don’t incur debt. Keep your expenses as low as possible. Live lean and mean and buy used and know that this way of life will give you the freedom you crave to pursue a writing life.

Now, I don’t deny for a second that I live an extremely privileged life. I have it made. I have a rich life compared to many, many people.

But I don’t live large, either.

I shop at thrift stores. I make do and use up what I have before I replace something. I eat leftovers. I take a little brush to scrape the rest of my lipstick out of the tube. I buy my friend’s books new but many others I check out at the library. I drive a used car that I own. I wash the gray right out of my hair at home with a box of dye from the drugstore!

I’m not saying all this to sound like a martyr or sanctimonious, I’m just saying that part of how I’m able to only work part-time outside of my home is because I live very frugally and simply and have the support of my husband and other family members in so many ways.

The other thing that must be said, is that I would not be in the position I am right now (about to have my first book published) if it weren’t for the unbelievably warm and welcoming writing community I’m a part of. From the people who read my roughest drafts, to the authors who are giving it raving reviews right now — they all have been part of the community that makes me realize this the best JOB EVER!

So yes I’m blessed and privileged and incredibly, incredibly lucky and grateful to live the writerly life that I’m living right now.

Because of this, I believe my obligation is to work hard in the time I’ve been given each day to pursue this writerly life. I hope that this glimpse we’ve given you into our lives—how one debut writer (ME) and one veteran writer(Matthew Clemens) live—has been helpful.


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2 Responses to Fully Exposed – Finito!

  1. Kristi

    Thanks, Tom! I’m a nervous wreck. How are you about your first self-pub debut? Any advice?

  2. tom combs

    Kristi –

    A nice message!
    I’m about to release my self-pub debut and your comments resonate. Most on the planet struggle to survive and care for their families. I have the opportunity to work at expressing myself through the creation of stories that will, hopefully, engage and entertain. It’s damn nice to be lucky!
    Best of luck. I think your books are going to be successful in all regards!