Arteest or Worker

21 Jan

Funny thing about taking writing seriously and treating it like any other job. When I now finish a stage in a project, I move immediately on to the next rather than wasting time congratulating myself.

Take last week’s finished first draft. The very next day I picked up a short story that needs expanding and added a bunch of words to it, then repeated the task today, meaning tomorrow I will likely finish the short story and might even have another one mostly written by the end of the week. Those two out of the way, I’ll then start the next novel.

When a new writer finishes a draft of a novel, it’s something monumental – an inhuman feat accomplished that needs to be celebrated, bragged about and drawn out for weeks or months before beginning the next monumental task of editing it or starting a new book.

Don’t get me wrong. I am still amazed at having finished the current novel and am by no means jaded by the wonder that is the creative process. It’s just that I’ve stopped being an Arteest about it. I am a writer, so I write. Does an architect brag and take months off to recuperate after designing a building? Does a doctor expect a million pats on the back for every surgery completed? No, because it’s their job, just as writing is one of my jobs.

So, I say “Yay me!” and get back to work, because if I want to be an earning writer, I can’t be an Arteest – I have to be a worker and that means words on paper on a regular basis.


Posted by on January 21, 2013 in Am Writing, General Babblery


2 responses to “Arteest or Worker

  1. Steph Reisner

    January 23, 2013 at 1:25 am

    It is amazing how one’s perception changes when it becomes one’s career, isn’t it? Someone asked me just a few weeks back, “Don’t you ever take a break? How is it you produce so much?” It’s simple – if I stop writing, I stop eating and paying the bills.

    • Alex

      January 23, 2013 at 9:58 am

      Eating is a powerful motivator. Since I have a day job, I don’t have that pressure, so I need to find other ways to motivate me. Eating when I retire with only a government pension is my big motivator.


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