Monday, September 7, 2009

labor day

Okay. Here's the deal. In three days -- three days -- my not-newest book, in the path of falling objects, is going to be released.

I say it's "not-newest" because any writer knows that from the time you finish writing a book until the day it appears on the shelf of a bookstore usually takes at least a year or two... or even longer if it's your debut work.

And it's "not-newest" because since I wrote in the path of falling objects, I've written two more novels, and am currently "working" on a third. I don't have any idea what this third (my "newest") one is going to be called yet -- a friend of mine asked me a question yesterday about my titles -- but Holy Labor Pains -- it's pretty freaking intense. Like, the beginning just scares the crud out of me because I really believe that things like this can happen -- and I have no idea in hell how it's going to end.

So... if you didn't notice, in honor of today's holiday I've stressed the concepts of "work" and "labor" so far in today's post; and I wanted to talk a little bit about those ideas and how they relate to writing.

To begin with, I don't consider writing to be like "work," and I don't think it's laborious, either. But I do spend a lot of time at it, and I also have a very disciplined work ethic toward my writing. So... if that's all it takes to call something "work," then... okay.

But when I think of all the crappy, horrible jobs I've had in my life, writing doesn't fall into the realm of what I'd call a "job," either. And I've definitely had some enjoyable jobs -- ones where I really enjoyed the work -- but the bottom line is they were still jobs.

I think when writing begins to feel too much like a job to me, I need to do something about my mental perspective. In fact, during the writing of one of my books, I actually forced myself to take a short vacation, leave my computer at home, and get away from it for a few days. Not because I was stuck, or suffering from writer's block, or even getting burned out -- I just wanted to see what getting away from the book would do to me.

I guess a job is something where you actually look forward to, and have to plan for, your days off. But writing isn't like that for me. There's really no need to save myself by asking "a boss" for days off, and I can do the "work" of writing no matter where I am, no matter the weather, or the hour in the day.

Unlike, for example, being an undersea welder.

Oh well... I need to get back to work.