I recently watched the new TOP GUN movie and LOVED it! As I watched, Tom Cruise, whose Top Gun call sign in the movie is Maverick, is talking to one of his commanders, who, in an argument, reminds Maverick he is the best flyer among the elite Top Gun crew. Maverick looks back at him and says, “That’s not WHAT I am. It’s WHO I am.”

        That statement really impressed me. It hit me that for some people, what they do is not just a job to them. It is something from the heart. I thought to myself that writing is not just something I do to make money (which, believe me, is not the fantastic income some might believe). Writing is who I am. I don’t have to force myself to do it. I don’t strain to think of ideas. I don’t see my characters as just that – characters. They are real people living a real life.

        Stories and ideas dance around in my head 24/7. I am currently working on my 75th book, with more in mind. I hope to stay healthy so I can write for many more years. Writing is not just something I am able to do and something I hope to retire from some day. It is as much “me” as breathing, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, and dreaming. It is something I can’t NOT do. If I did it just for a living, I would quit and find a good job that would likely pay more, and I wouldn’t be sitting home alone at the computer for most of the day every day.

        I don’t want to retire. I don’t care if I make a lot or a little money. I don’t care if I write till my legs swell and my back aches. I don’t care if it interferes with my social life. I love to write. Period.

        If you see writing as a job and consider it hard work, you are not a writer. If you dread having to sit down and start a new book, you are not a writer. If you have a lot of trouble developing your characters, or liking them at all, you are not a writer. If you get bored with your own story and stop for days or weeks at a time, you are not a writer. If you work on a book for a year or several years, always mulling it over, always making changes, never sure if it’s good enough, you are not a writer. We all have doubts and struggles at times with a story, but we keep at it because we love our characters so much and are confident the problems we might have will work out, and that’s because we have confidence in ourselves and know that the answers will come. And being writers, we always have pen and paper near the bed because nine times out of ten, the answers and great ideas will come in the middle of the night. If we don’t write them down, we know that answer we’ve been looking for, or that great idea, will no longer be there in the morning. The same goes when we suddenly hit on the perfect conversation, or the perfect one-liner. That’s what I mean about the statement Maverick said above. It’s one of those “Why didn’t I think of that?” moments, and I have had plenty of those.

        So, God willing, I will be writing for many more years, because writing is not “what I do.” It is “who I am.”

PS -- If you want to learn more about me and all of my books, please visit my extensive website:    I would also like to invite you to join my Rosanne Bittner's Heart of the West Street Team on Facebook!




Post a Comment