Monday, June 9, 2014

Writing Hard Work? Um, Not really...

One thing I get sick of hearing writers say is "writing is hard work". Baloney! I have written poems, short stories, non-fiction articles, and even a (currently shelved) fantasy novel. I have seen a number of my written works published in various small-press publications. I have also worked in various real-world fields, including retail and health (as a health lab tech). Compared to the work I performed in those fields, the work of writing is relatively easy. The hard part seems to be making a career out of it, making a living off of writing. (I think the same could also be said for visual art.)

I know plenty of writers who write, who see their writings published in various venues, but who still works day-jobs (or night jobs, as the case may be) to make ends meet. I know some writers who can churn out the works even while working real-jobs.

Let's face facts here. For those with the gift, writing is easy. When in the middle of one of my poetry-writing blitzes, when the ideas flow fast and furious, I might have thirty to forty poems in my submission pool. When inspiration strikes and I come up with a great idea for a story, the story might practically write itself. Writing non-fiction is an absolute breeze for me, someone who displayed quite the knack for writing grade-A college term papers. (It was a rare event when I received a grade below an A.)

Now, there are some hard parts to writing. Simply making a start at writing isn't always as simple as it sounds. Coming up with great ideas can be hard. Writing well enough to rise above the crows may also be difficult. Self-editing might be a challenge for those lacking good internal editors. Even so, writers sound silly when they suggest that the work of writing isn't easier than the work performed in many "real-life" jobs.
I think of the Monty Python Flying Circus skit "Working-Class Playwright" whenever I encounter writers trying to say writing isn't easier than many "real life" jobs.

Some jobs that I have done that seemed, in one way or another, harder than the actually work of writing:
assistant flooring installer
express-line cashier
newborn screening health lab tech

Even my time spend as a home-educator was hard work at times. Seeing as how I home-educated in New York State, I certainly had lots of paperwork to do each quarter!

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