A Writer’s Work is Never Done



photo by Lionel Martinez

This post was originally published on Women Writers, Women’s Books.

The other day my daughter walked into our family room and asked me for a ride somewhere. I didn’t turn my head;

The other day my daughter walked into our family room and asked me for a ride somewhere. I didn’t turn my head; instead, I waved her away, “Shh—I’m working!”“Umm, you’re watching TV,” she said.

“Umm, you’re watching TV,” she said.

“Yes, I’m watching TV. It’s the last episode of Downton Abbey and yes, I’ve seen it three times. It’s called feeding the muse. Plus, no one can create a character arc like Julian Fellowes did with Mr. Barrow—there’s much to learn here.”

My teenage son arrived in the kitchen after basketball practice and called out to anyone who’d answer, “What’s for dinner? I’m starving.”

“I don’t know,” I shouted, “I’m a little tied up right now—dinner’s gonna be late.”

A moment later he popped his head into the den. “Are you reading a book?” I detected a little sneer in his voice.

“No. I am not reading a book; I’m working. And yes, I’m reading a book!”

I have a similar response to when a passenger in my car tries to change the radio dial while I’m listening to a song. Especially melancholy music, or anything by The Eagles or Teddy Thompson or Chris Isaak. I have been forever in awe of lyricists and their ability to dispense a lifetime’s worth of emotion into a single lyric line.

If you think about it, a writer’s work is never done. Whether we are having a cavity filled, waiting for a late night subway, coaching a fifth-grade softball team, changing a flat tire, or, dare I say, lounging under a swaying palm on a St. Bart’s beach, we are working.

I had no idea, one day, as I was shopping for groceries, that my conversation with the produce guy would yield a scene for my novel in progress . . . read more on Women Writers, Women’s Books


    • Ben

    • 8 years ago

    I had a friend who was raised in Mountainside her whole life. One night we went out with a group and she spoke in a “New Yawk” accent all night. I was mystified.

    1. Try it! It’s a lot of fun!

  1. This is great–I can legitimately claim “naps” and “reading” as part of the writing process! Actually, the reading part I call “research” and the nap part is “inspirations!” Toil on Eva–I’m kinda behind you, , , 😉

    1. Hi Judee! So nice to see you. Heck, you can even claim eating as work! (thought you’d like that one… ;))

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