I did this to myself

Hi everyone,

This is one of those mornings when I sit down at the keyboard, listen to the coffee finish brewing, glance out the window to judge the morning weather, and wonder what on earth I should put on my post. My father-in-law, RALPH KENNON, had a saying he was fond of, under such circumstances. “You did that to yourself.”

Truth is, I have been doing this to myself for a long time now. A freelance writer has to get up each day, hear the coffee perking, look around, and come up with something to write about. It’s training more than talent, I know, but I spend a lot of time looking for and finding the buds of stories. If you follow this blog much you may have read it on a day when JANE YOLEN came busting through with an abrupt announcement about something I’d said. “You know that’s a book. You’re welcome.” And off she sailed to think of ten more books of her own.

Seeing stories wherever we look are finger exercise for a writer’s imagination. We’ll never tackle them all of course. But once in a while something special comes along. Excitement builds. You put aside what you are working on, even if it has a deadline, and fall madly in love. I’ve had people tell me how nice they think it is that I have a hobby that brings me so much pleasure. I asked Merriam-Webster to explain the word hobby. “An activity that you do for pleasure when you are not working.” Another source gives the example: “His hobby is writing. Hers is gardening and swimming.” Hobby is a perfectly respectable word. I’ve had and enjoyed many hobbies. But what serious freelance writing is not is a hobby. It isn’t an activity that one picks up and puts down on a whim or as leisure allows. It’s simply what one does.

Whether it’s a hobby or something else, what I love most about writing is how frequently it surprises me by how it turns out. Like this morning, for example.

13 comments on “I did this to myself

    • Thanks for sharing your response to that situation, Veda. I don’t think anyone who sees us as hobbyists intends to insult what we do, but it demonstrates how little they understand about it. Still, I take the bait every time.

    • Hi Jane, and thank you. I’ve had three cups and am debating about pouring one more. I appreciate your encouragement.

  1. I really appreciate the inspiration David. You be free and inspired also my friend. By the way, percolating coffee sounds really good right now. And what is it about that smell and that sound that makes you just want to sit down and compose a beautiful poem.

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