Writing & the Word

John Rickards, “making a shameless bid for linkage again” posted some thoughts on why writers write. Being someone who makes a living writing crime novels, he went straight for the jugular:

To quote ‘Fight Club’, “You’re not your job”. And that, when it comes down to it, is what writing professionally is. It’s a job. It’s fun, it’s interesting and it’s varied, but it’s basically a cool way of earning a living. That’s all.

“Looking at it that way, sure, but what about the whole ‘writing as a calling?’ aspect?” Sarah said in the original backblogs. “Art vs. livelihood. I mean, I’d love to make a living writing, but even if I couldn’t, I’d still do it because at least when it comes to fiction, my brain would probably explode if I didn’t find a way to write about it.”

To which I say, for most writers, bullshit. We’re no more ‘called’ to it than that mechanic. We enjoy it, we get a great deal of fun from it, but that’s all.

I always seize up with I read these “you frickin’ pansy-ass writers” things, cause I’m an elitist snob just as much as the next word hack, and sure, money is great for a writer who can get money that way, and if you’re not making money (like me), you’re sure as hell looking to *get* money by writing… but no more than anybody else looking to get money for doing something they like…

And… and…

Well. Then you read something like this, and all of that cynicism just sort of bleeds away.

You write because there’s a power in the telling of stories. The rest is just details.

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