I'm establishing a warm and loving relationship with a new phrase which I think describes much of this writing life very well - justified fun.
This weekend, as a local author and journalist, I was invited to open a beer festival here in my dear Devon...
I did a little modest book promotion, then some (less modest) sampling of the produce. I even had an idea for a new short story and some elements of a character while I was there.
You might just call it a research and marketing afternoon... in other words, justified fun!
Look at all the other privileges writers enjoy. The access we're given to places and people in order to write about them and the places we go to. We tell stories to entertain, inform and amuse.
Then there are the book festivals, writers schools and talks, the travel and people we get to meet. All very sociable, and all lots of justified fun.
I took a stroll around my beloved River Exe as dawn was breaking this weekend, to walk some life into the brain and work on a couple of issues with a story I'm planning.
Before long, the uplifting surroundings helped provide the answers, and I was smiling happily through my stroll.
Yet more justified fun.
Today I shall probably pop to my local inn, have a snack and a pint or two, stare into space, think, and work up some ideas for this summer's teaching. That doesn't sound too unpleasant a day to me.
Yes. ok, there is some hard work to the life too. The times of slogging away at a keyboard, particularly when the words refuse to come can be a trial. Every job has its downsides, after all.
But with writing, the drawbacks are hugely outweighed by the good times - how very lucky we are to enjoy so much justified fun.