Have you realized when you first meet someone, one of the first questions asked is, “What do you do?” Americans are taught that our true value lies in our jobs. More than anything, it’s important how much money we make so we can buy new cars and own the newest gadgets and have the biggest houses and send our kids to the most prestigious schools. Often I have to remember that writing is worthwhile work no matter the monetary gain…or deficit. Here are only three of the many things I think are valuable about writers and our job:
1.) Writers Know Acceptance. Writers have to research anything from changing a tire to shooting a gun. They might interview anyone from a 1st grade student to a drug addict. Writers pay attention to people, listen closely, and observe. Writers might not know exactly what you’re feeling, but they can imagine it pretty darn close. Writers might not understand why you act how you do, but they’ll always try to understand. Writers accept you for who you are because probably a character modeled after you is living inside their head 24/7.
2.) Writers Know Awareness. Sometimes I write things I know absolutely nothing about. As I imagine my setting and how my characters react, I think about the real people who could be in this situation. Writing has made me much more aware about the world I live in and compassionate about the people who live in it with me. I pay attention to the news, both the major headlines and the barely noticeable three-line paragraphs. The written word is everywhere and someone has to write about it all. That’s what you and me are doing. And yet…
3.) Writers Know Humility. As I garner ideas reading about events and people, the wonderful and the terrible, I remember how small I am in this big, big world. I remember to write the truth how I see it, but to also consider how others might see it differently. Writers know that they wouldn’t have the byline without the important people and events they write about.
Writers know many things! What else can you add? If you live outside the U.S., how does your society view job status and work? Is it just as pressure-filled to make heaps of money or is it more relaxed?
Happy Friday, Zigzaggers! Have a wonderful weekend!