Thursday, September 15, 2011

Writing IS Work DAMMIT!

Nothing irks me more (except maybe Tea Party rhetoric, that nagging, insipid voice on my GPS and the work "irk") than people who don't consider writing work.   For the record, it is not a fad, a hobby, a distraction or a pick-up line. ("It's true.  I'm working on that new Johnny Depp movie.  Of course I know the title but I can't tell you.  Very hush-hush...")  At the end of the day, future doctors and lawyers have a better shot at nailing the prom queen than writers ever will...even if we can make it sound better - and probably last longer - on paper.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary the word "Work" means:

The result of the action or operation of some person or thing; ‘effect, consequence of agency’ (Johnson); (one's) ‘doing’; the device or invention of some one.

I like the "device or invention of some one" part but I had to look all the way down the page to find it.  This particular definition of the word was several notations below one or two sports references.  In truth, the act of writing takes time...

 (I sit at my desk every morning)

...effort, talent and determination...

(it is a lot easier to get up and turn on old episodes of "Law and Order" than it is sitting at desk scribbling feverishly in composition notebooks. I still use those marble, bespeckled books that were part of Catholic School ethos.) takes accounting...

(I know exactly how many words I write at the end of a work day.)

...uses resources and materials...

(beer, wine, coffee)

and produces a product.

(which, actually is why we do it.  There is nothing better than inscribing that last word on that last page and revelling in having nailed it.)

This Little Piggy Belongs to the Devil is my first novel.  It is a thriller told in the first person and the writing quite literally kept me sane.  That may very well be a story for another day but, in keeping with the sentiment of this blog, the work required to magically transform 56,722 words into a book is an all-consuming effort.  In the movies "the book may sell itself" but on this planet it is easier to sell a Ronco Pocket Fisherman (buy one get the second for $19.95) on a three in the morning infomercial than it is moving a book. 

Why do I do it?  This Little Piggy... deserves it.  And, I love the work!

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