Friday, March 13, 2020

From the Vaults: "Something Worth Remembering" (January 20, 2009)

It’s been a busy couple of weeks. I was knee-deep in what I thought would be the final draft of the sixth Penns River novel and the time had come to start getting busy promoting the fifth, Pushing Water. (Available May 4 from Down& Out Books, in case I hadn’t mentioned it before.) Then the editor’s notes for Pushing Water came in, requiring a major re-arrangement of things in general.

A busy time with a lot of other things going on in my personal and work life. Hectic? Yep. Frustrating? You bet. Lucky for me I had a blog post due today. With no time to write one, I searched the archives and found the perfect piece, from January 20, 2009. Here it is, in its entirety, to show that even after eleven years, some things never change, damn glad I am to be reminded.


Writers have been known to remark on what hard work it is to finish a book. Successful writers sometimes comment on the difficulties of cranking out a book a year. In the press kit for her now book, A Darker Domain, no less an authority than Val McDermid lays it out:

People sometimes remark that I must work hard to produce a book a year. They look offended when I laugh. Then I explain. And they get it.

Both my grandfathers were miners. The one who only had daughters rejoiced that no child of his was going to have to spend a working life underground. Deep underground in the heat and the stink and the filth and the danger, they knew what hard work was, my grandfathers.

The next time any of us, myself included, feels the need to complain about a writer’s plight, we should stop, get on our knees, and thank whatever higher power we choose that we have the privilege, and the leisure, to be able to write.

1 comment:

Scott D. Parker said...

Boy, is that the truth! I keep this in mind all the time.