To Be a Writer

Somebody once told me, very patronizingly, that I wouldn’t do well in a job with lots of “work, paperwork, thinking, authority, or stress.” When I asked what job that even left–because honestly, work is literally the definition of a job–this person’s response was: “A writer.”

Tell any writer that writing isn’t work, that it doesn’t require thinking, and that it isn’t stressful, and you’ll probably either be laughed at or attacked with coffee mugs. Trying to perfect a plot line or literary blueprint takes a tremendous amount of work and brainpower. It’s enough thinking to drive anyone crazy–and so many of us are. Meeting deadlines and personal standards is absolutely stressful. Writing is paperwork. And while writing is often an independent profession, we still have to deal with other people, such as editors, and many writers are in fields that have bosses and the like. Writing is just as much of a job as any other, and to claim otherwise is an insult to everyone who’s ever poured their heart, soul, tears, and time into their craft.

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