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    Home Columns

    Live to Write!

    The Holidays are upon us again. This month's column is unusual but geared toward Christmas and writers and how the two relate. Buckle your seatbelt.

    If you're considering offing yourself this year, in the tradition of "It's a Wonderful Life", I've appointed myself to take you on a little verbal journey to show you what a really bad idea suicide is. Creative people are higher in the suicide stats than the general population which means that writers fit very nicely into this kamikaze category.

    Read on and I promise that at next year's Christmas party you'll be telling someone over an eggnog how that demented loon writer of the "Getting My Feet Wet" column saved your dignity and your life, not necessarily in that order. My email address is posted at the end of my column - you may thank me later.

    The Obvious

    Your paperboy has to eat, too. C'mon, think about this kid. He's probably saving to go to college. All right, it's possible his goal could be running the 23rd Street crack house, but if you're there to pay him every week, you could be instrumental in keeping him from being traded nightly for a pack of menthols in prison. Oh, The Responsibility.

    You want to spend eternity with that annoying 'Y' cut into your chest by the county coroner? Bet you didn't think about that one. You may have clothes on at the funeral, but everybody knows there's that big dopey 'Y' on your chest. Forever. Oh, The Humiliation.

    Depending on the untidy method you choose, somebody's got to take care of the shambles that was you. At this event, drool will be apparent. The whole family will be talking about this for years and it won't be flattering. Wherever you are in the ether, you'll hear this trashing of your reputation with no recourse to defend yourself. Serious Humiliation.

    Salient Points for You, the Writer

    The funeral's over, the family and friends have been to the cemetery and now the group's gathered at the hall to have a meal while they discuss you. Guess what happens next? That's right - everybody goes through your bills, your clothes, Your Stuff! And that includes your writing work. Everybody is going to invade your notes on everything you wrote. The Audacity.

    Let's say you do The Deed. The next day your agent calls about that manuscript you sent him 6 months ago. Your sister answers the phone and he tells her he's interested in taking you as a client. Oh. Was it accidental, the agent asks morbidly? The point being that you just missed your chance to get published, Moron. If only you'd stopped to think about it. Oh, The Stupidity.

    So before you allow yourself to think dark thoughts; before you do something idiotic, think about the consequences to what's left of your reputation. Forever. One last horrifying thought. Cousin Edgar finding your unfinished work; your half-finished novel; your poems. A soon-to-be best-selling novel plagiarized into a cannibalization of a Grade-B movie script starring 7 out-of-work waiters from Scarsdale. He'll change your beautifully evocative poem to, "There was a young woman from Venus..." Is that how you want to be known for eternity? Just for fun he'll put your name on it. What a guy. The resulting published carnage would freeze a smile on Santa's face. If only you'd stopped to ponder the consequences. The Shame.

    Even if you are self-destructive, there's a certain freedom in being completely screwed. I mean, if you're a writer and you're that depressed about your work, once you've made the decision to live there's no where to go but up. I leave you with this inspirational poem:


    Dear God,
    I live my life
    in mortal dread
    Some day I'll die
    One column ahead

    "The Columnist's Prayer" used with permission from "Big Bob" Hill, from the National Society of Newspaper Journalists.

    Copyright © 2001 Lyne Royce

    Lyne Royce is a freelance writer living in the desert east of Phoenix. She lives with her devoted husband and six spoiled and previously stray cats. She's fervent about Native American history and enjoys reading books on the subject when she has the time. After 15 years teaching software classes, and two years doing Web site design, Lyne decided to listen seriously to her muse and has participated in writing workshops and clinics on the Web, including the Writer's Digest Workshops' Fundamentals of Non-Fiction Writing, Focus on the Non-Fiction Magazine Article;'s Query Letter Clinic;'s workshop Writing and publishing Magazine Articles; the humor clinic, Writing from the Left Side of the Brain with Jane Combs; and Secrets of the Professional Freelancer at She belongs to several writers discussion groups but her favorite, Writers Pad, is where she enjoys learning from her writer friends on a daily basis that it is possible for a writer to become a published writer.

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ

    WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! Kick start your imagination, ignite your creativity, and begin your journey towards becoming an outstanding writer.

    Grab a copy of WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! from and receive 2 free e-books to encourage and nurture the writer in you. You'll also receive Write Memories, a journaling workbook available for free only to WEEKLY WRITES book owners. And finally, as a WEEKLY WRITES book owner, you'll have free access to e-mail courses such as JOYFUL WRITES: Celebrate Your Life through Writing

    For excerpts, reviews and what you need to do to receive the 2 free e-books, Write Memories and sign up for free e-mail courses, just head on to the Weekly Writes Book Official Site. (Clicking on the link will open a new window.)


    The Journaling Life: 21 Types of Journals You Can Create to Express Yourself and Record Pieces of Your Life

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