Are We Having Fun Yet?

Photo by John Dimotsis
Photo by John Dimotsis

I sure hope so. I know I am. More than I ever imagined. And yes, having fun is perhaps the biggest writing tip ever. As I often say, “Writing is a lousy way to make a living, but a wonderful way to make a life.”

If you’re interested in big bucks and fame, buy a lottery ticket. The odds are better.

So enjoy it.

Sure, we all have moments of anxiety and bitter disappointment, that’s only natural, but overall what other life offers you so many opportunities for fun times and joyful camaraderie than that of a published author? Yes, there’s a bit of luck (and skill) involved in getting published, but once you are and have your “union card” you’re part of a broad, supportive community—at least in the crime genre.

As for those among us who eat their hearts out with envious thoughts, I beseech ye to bring yourself to relish your colleagues’ successes and cheer them on to even greater heights, for such an attitude allows you to share in far more joyous moments than you’ll ever experience on your own. After all, no one person can win every award (aside from Louise Penny :)) or receive only starred reviews. And for the truly benevolent out there, I suggest even learning to forgive the misguided transgressions of unkind reviewers…for they know not what they do. 🙂

In other words, aim for having fun.

The photo at the top of this post is Exhibit A to my thesis. Forget how many books I sell on Mykonos, or how many glorious beach days and wild parties I miss cooped up in my room writing, I’m having fun. This photo was taken in the Mykonos town cemetery for Mykonos Confidential, the glossy high-end magazine put out each summer to highlight the ins and outs of the island. This year the publisher asked me to write an article describing my take on how the island’s changed in my 30+ years there. This photo accompanies that essay.

I doubt I’d have been asked to contribute my thoughts had I remained just a lawyer, and for certain the photographer wouldn’t have suggested the photographic setting he did if he thought I couldn’t laugh at myself.

As for the symbolic body at my feet, I guess it could mean many things; perhaps even that what I said earlier about forgiving critics might not be entirely true. 🙂

But for sure, having fun makes it all worthwhile.