Look Again—Writers Doing Nothing

by Randy Murray on January 23, 2013

“I can never get used to the fact that most of the time you look like you’re doing nothing. ” Roger Sterling - Mad Men Season 1

I make no apologies for the fact that I don’t work in an office, that I don’t put in 40, 60, 80 hours a week. I once did, but now I don’t. I don’t feel guilty when I take an afternoon to run errands or when I linger at lunch over an open book. I offer you no sympathy when you complain about the politics of the office. You will not hear me tell you, “I have to get back to work.”

I am working. I am a writer. Even with I’m not typing or scribbling in a notebook, I’m working. When I have my feet up on my desk and I’m looking out the window, I’m working. When I’m padding down the stairs for another cup of coffee, I’m working. And yes, when I’m poking about on the internet, I’m working.

I do not assemble widgets. I do have not production goals to meet. I do not punch a clock, although I do track my time.

And sometimes, often, the most difficult and time consuming tasks I take on result in just a few words, a paragraph, a single line.

Writing is the most difficult work I’ve ever done. I’ve worked as a farm laborer, a construction and factory worker, and I’ve sat in many an office and cubicle for long, soul crushing hours. I’ve stood in more trade show booths than I can count and shook untold numbers of hands. I’ve been very, very busy, but this work is more difficult. This is harder work. This is a real challenge.

And I am uniquely suited to it.

I am not, as my neighbors think, retired.

I write.


The Look Again—Writers Doing Nothing by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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