Lists are great. Lists can keep you organized, remind you of your priorities, or prevent you from making a faux pas (by forgetting to invite Aunt Myrtle to the birthday party, for instance). They help you remember to pick up yogurt at the grocery story, and they can show you how many more editing changes you have to make before you can turn in that story to your editor.
And of course, there’s that all-important list we hear about this time of year – you know, the one where we hope our name is under the “Nice” heading, so we can get that shiny new smartphone we’ve been eyeing.
Since the holiday pace has picked up to somewhere around Mach 3, I find my lists are my lifeline. I’ve got my Christmas card list, my grocery list, my work assignments list, and my gift-shopping list. And my general end-of-the-year To-Do list is about 20 miles long, with no rest stops.
So in the spirit of list-making, and because I sometimes need reminding, I decided to jot down a quick list of the reasons why I love being a freelance writer:
- I get to daydream and call it “plotting.”
- I get to surf the web and call it “research.”
- I receive a crash course in a brand-new subject every time I write a story/article/paper, and for a brief time, I get to be an expert in something new.
- I have an excuse to meet really fascinating people. And sometimes famous ones.
- I get to wear my slippers to work.
- NO OFFICE POLITICS—although I sometimes have heated arguments with myself. But I always win, so it’s okay.
- The lunch room is always stocked with potato chips.
- I love reveling in words, rhythm, and emotion.
- I measure my commute in cups of coffee, not miles per gallon.
- I get to live several lives simultaneously – and in only one of them must I wash dishes and do laundry.
- I can say “no” to jobs that look suspiciously unsatisfying.
- I can write off lunch with writer friends.
- I can ensure there’s a happy ending if I want one.
- Or I can bump off a bad guy if he needs it.
- I have seen my words touch the lives of strangers around the world. And theirs have touched me in return.
Those are just a few of the reasons I love writing. What are yours?