Is writing work?

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Is writing work?

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Feb. 27, 2008, 9:35pm

Whether writing is work depends on how you define "writing" and "work" (but not, I think, on how you define "is," apologies to a recent president), I guess. One certainly needs to work at writing, as well as play it--in terms of improvisation and invention. So there's that. And if you get paid for writing, that might make writing, officially, work. But are writers laborers? As a writer in many venues, I've worked hard, but as a former laborer, I do have, in the back of my mind, a voice that whispers, "Writing really isn't work." Opinions?

Feb. 28, 2008, 1:03pm

Writing really isn't work. I would love to discuss it at length but in addition to work I have three papers to write in the next nine days.

Not to mention read 300 pages, take one midterm and one final exam and give a Powerpoint presentation.

Feb. 28, 2008, 5:57pm

Writing is hard work of a sort but in macroeconomic terms it is largely irrelevant so I would be reluctant to describe it as labor.

Maybe it's similar to the exertions of someone who tries to excel at sport. A person expels much energy, maybe extreme amounts, and a few might achieve something extraordinary; but there is also something rarefied or even frivolous about it.

That requires no apology. No reason to go about pofaced--a little frivolity can be a tonic in a tough world.

Feb. 29, 2008, 12:17am

Great responses. I enjoyed them immensely, and they generally reflect my own views, even as I keep scribbling. ;-)

Apr. 29, 2008, 4:41am

It is certainly work, and, while not always laborious, labor as well.