I usually don’t blog on Sunday morning because I think I need the day off. That’s rather curious because other than a part-time teaching gig and being a caretaker for my husband, I don’t work.
WORK — It’s a crazy word. What does it really mean?
In our society, most people think REAL WORKING involves leaving home, driving several miles to another place, spending at least eight hours there, while most of the time we’re wishing we were somewhere else. We complain about how stupid bosses are and that we don’t make enough money for the effort we exert. Worse yet, if we don’t involve ourselves in this kind of activity, society pretty much sees us as retired or slackers.
Debating with myself over this issue I turned to the dictionary to describe to me what work really is. Here’s what the old Oxford Dictionary had to say:
Work – Noun 1. activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result; 2. mental or physical activity as a means of earning income; employment; 3. a task or tasks to be undertaken; something a person or thing has to do.
Of course, this is just a snippet of the full definition. Most writers I know don’t go anywhere to participate in their profession. Lucky writers may have a studio in their homes or they may take themselves out the local coffee shop for inspiration. Personally, I sit in an over-sized chair in my living room with my dog sleeping and snoring beside me as I pound out pages of prose.
My blue-collar family still makes me feel like I’m not working, and the dictionary definition confirms they are right. Definition number one comes close to what I do, but when I write, I don’t always have a purpose. Number two is certainly not my experience. I’ve written seven novels and haven’t earned a penny even though they all have been published by a “traditional” publisher. And, finally, number three isn’t accurate because I chose to write; no one is putting a gun to my head, (although sometimes when I’m blocked, that terror might help.)
So, I guess it’s true. I’m not working. I’m creating. I’m having fun thinking. I’m spinning stories many people have told me they have truly enjoyed. What is it that some anonymous soothsayer said: Find something you love and you’ll never work again. Yeah. That’s the path I’ve chosen. Royalties or no royalties.