Can I Get An Amen?

Ran across this passage by Beverley Nichols and had to share for my writer friends, since this is pretty much how I feel all the time.

Money….not very much, but better than it’s ever been before. Probably it will all be taken away from me, or will be worth nothing, just when I have written my last word and feel the time has come to sit back and watch the flowers unfolding. However, that is a morbid thought. The only fact that matters is that there is money in the bank. It has accumulated there, mysteriously, because every day I lock myself up in a room and guide my pen over sheets of paper, and then sell those sheets of paper. That, you will agree, is an exceedingly peculiar way of earning one’s living. Making odd scrawls on a sheet of paper…rather ugly, hurried scrawls, blocked over, scratched out, very painfully erased and amended…and then exchanging those scrawls for beautiful, tangible things, like tulip bulbs, and shelled walnuts, and bottles of mysterious, dusty, and exquisitely fragrant Chablis! Very odd indeed.

But then, the minute any man except the farm labourer begins to ponder the sources of his income, he will feel inclined to hang his head in shame, unless he is a charlatan or a stockbroker.

— Beverley Nichols, Village in a Valley

  • reply RhianimatorLGP ,

    Hrrm… I design bags, cases, and safety vests for other people to sew from sturdy fabrics and turn into food and shelter and internets. Maybe those safety vests keep a few of those people building roads and bridges from becoming roadkill. I think I’m doing ok. I have no shame. *grin*

    • reply Jaedreth ,

      I used to fix computers for a living. I repaired machines people use for their livelihood. I enabled other people to make a living. I can’t anymore because I’m disabled, but I feel pretty good about it.

      • reply tanita ,

        HAH! Yeah, if you think too hard about what you do — “hm. I scribble, and it sells…?” the angst gets a bit existential.

        • reply Larksilver ,

          I make sound waves, and teach others to make sound waves. They are (hopefully) powerful, moving sound waves, but they are fleeting and intangible.

          It’s still many times better, and much more satisfying, than when I used to push paper and data from one place to another for a living. Even when I worked in a healthcare setting, and was helping people get access to said care, it was still less satisfying than the making of sound waves is now.

          It’s all about the quality of what you do, and what it means to YOU. Besides… without our stories, without our music, and our art, we would be empty, without a history, without a culture. What kind of world would THAT be? I for one do not want to find out.

          • reply Andrew Ragland ,

            Writing is an act of terrific and terrible ego. You’re basically saying, the way I say things is so cool that you should pay me to say them.

            I’m a farmer. And an IT guy. And a maillemaker. And a writer. Takes four jobs to keep the lights on, and we’re just barely managing that. I don’t usually have time to ponder stuff like this.

            • reply Rowing Software ,

              Useful post and great responses. You efforts putting this blog together was worth the while.

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