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Writing is work

Mucking out the office is never fun, but it’s done. I moved piles of useless papers into the trash. Books onto bookshelves. (Fancy that!) Notes, articles, and paperwork into files. Old manuscripts into the closet. Current manuscripts into neat stacks on the proper shelves.

As I was digging my way through the bookshelves, I ran across a slender little book that once belonged to my grandmother: “Writing Is Work” by Mary Roberts Rinehart. Published in 1939, it’s a collection of practical advice and anecdotes about the business of writing.

Now it’s on the shelf next to Gran’s ancient L.C. Smith typewriter. Poor Gran! Every time she made a typo, she had to roll the paper up, erase the mistake on the original and the carbon copy, roll the paper down again, and correct the mistake. I have two of her manuscripts that bear the smudges of her corrections.

Thank God for computers, word processors, cut-and-paste, and the backspace key. A typewriter is to a computer as an oxcart is to a Mercedes. Writing will always be work, but it’s not nearly as much work as it used to be.

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