What Do You Actually DO All Day?

This morning Kate asked me over breakfast what I was going to be doing with myself today. There was no hint of checking up, or suggestion that I was going to be playing World of Warcraft until my eyeballs fell out (that comes later) but there was still that sense that non-writers simply can’t visualize what writers actually DO.

The answer –of course– is that we dream with our eyes open.

But the result would be supremely tedious should anyone have fitted cctv to my office (aka the small settee). I just sit here and bang away on keys, and every fifty minutes or so get up and move around to relieve any stress on my back.

I like quiet to work in, so all you can hear from here are distant traffic noises, a periodic clang of the gate followed by the dog going ballistic at the postman, veg deliverer, or other unfortunate.  And that’s it — one day some enterprising burglar is going to get the shock of his life because he thinks an empty house has been left unlocked…

But that’s the difficulty for people who make things, or who work in an office where productivity is judged by how many files you move, or how many orders you process, or how many customers you serve. There is no tangible way of measuring a writer’s productivity. George Alec Effinger once spent all day writing four words. And at the end of the day, he deleted those four words.

Nonetheless, in the spirit of accountability, I may post some of the results of that banging away on keyboard tomorrow, or maybe later in the week, depending on how I feel. Or maybe I won’t. Because I know what I’ve done, and how important it is, and you can’t always measure it.

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• May 18th, 2010 • Posted in General • Comments: 0