Because you have to think of your feet and your identity.
What inspired me to write? That question was posed to me on my seventieth birthday by my cousin. Fifty years ago I had a problem with my feet and my identity. The questions that haunted me were: Who am I? Where am I going? Do I belong? Why do my feet ache so much?
Well, when I was a child my father was a postman. He did a lot of walking from house to house. He’d come home after work and immediately soak his feet.
My uncle was a bricklayer, he always was on his feet and they ached.
When I was eighteen and fresh out of high school, I got a job in a factory moving material from machine to machine. I was always on my feet and they hurt.
I learned one thing from these jobs. They were hard on your feet and mine were flat.
So, my life’s work would have to be something that wouldn’t give me aching feet. This was one part of the inspiration.
The second part was when I went to a book signing at a local bookstore. The writer was very successful. This was his fourth blockbuster novel.
I asked him about his typical workday. He would arise, have a bit of breakfast, and write until noon. Then he and his friends would go fishing and sip tall cool ones on his cabin cruiser. On days that he didn’t feel like fishing, he would write until noon and then go and sit in an outdoor café with his friends and sip tall cool ones.
This, I thought, was a sensible way to earn a living. So, I’ll become a writer and answer my identity questions.
Who am I? I’m a writer.
Where am I going? I’m going to sit down and save my feet.
Do I belong? Yes, I will have many friends that write until noon and then sip tall cool ones.
Then the writer told me that he stood up to noon every day writing. His typewriter was on the mantel and he typed while standing.
Well, this sounded grueling to me and it certainly wouldn’t do my fallen arches any good.
“Why stand and not sit to write?” I asked.
He said he had hemorrhoids and they hurt when he sat.
Well, I then set out to become a writer. I’ve never achieved that writer’s success, but the job has never given me aching feet.
I have been compared to that writer. Well, sort of. My readers tell me that I’m a real pain in the whatcha-ma-callit!