Writing as Work

As I grew up, that childlike, intuitive understanding of language and its power grew up with me. Faced with the reality of making a living as a writer, writing became work. My identity, and to some degree, my self-worth, became wrapped up in what I could produce. After I received my degree, writing took the backburner. I had a three-year-old to parent and a husband to support while he finished his education. After a nine-to-five day in front of a computer, the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was turn on my own computer.

Although I wrote another draft of my novel, my creative writing was blocked for a few years. Having constructed writing as a chore, it was easier to avoid it once the demands of school deadlines were gone. The avoidance took on a life of its own, compounded by the guilt I felt for not writing. Additonally, I lost the joy that writing had always given me.

Am I suggesting that writing as work is the wrong approach? No! If you have read this book, you know that I emphasize the work of writing over and over. Writing is work. But consider a young child's relationship to work. A child can find as much fun putting blocks away as he had strewing them across the floor.

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