Log in

No account? Create an account
Previous Entry Share Next Entry

Can I Get An Amen?

Ran across this passage by Beverley Nichols and had to share for my writer friends, since this is pretty much how I feel all the time.

Money….not very much, but better than it’s ever been before. Probably it will all be taken away from me, or will be worth nothing, just when I have written my last word and feel the time has come to sit back and watch the flowers unfolding. However, that is a morbid thought. The only fact that matters is that there is money in the bank. It has accumulated there, mysteriously, because every day I lock myself up in a room and guide my pen over sheets of paper, and then sell those sheets of paper. That, you will agree, is an exceedingly peculiar way of earning one’s living. Making odd scrawls on a sheet of paper…rather ugly, hurried scrawls, blocked over, scratched out, very painfully erased and amended…and then exchanging those scrawls for beautiful, tangible things, like tulip bulbs, and shelled walnuts, and bottles of mysterious, dusty, and exquisitely fragrant Chablis! Very odd indeed.

But then, the minute any man except the farm labourer begins to ponder the sources of his income, he will feel inclined to hang his head in shame, unless he is a charlatan or a stockbroker.

– Beverley Nichols, Village in a Valley

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.


  • 1

Amen sistah! Preach on!

Thanks! I needed that!.

And beautifully said, too.

I've read a few things (some fiction, some not) where "the minute any man except the farm labourer begins to ponder the sources of his income, he will feel inclined to hang his head in shame, unless he is a charlatan or a stockbroker." is not the case, particularly with doctors, who feel that no profession but theirs has any value. I always feel the urge to follow them around for a day, taking away everything they attempt to touch, saying "No, that has no value, as it wasn't made by a doctor, it's not up to your standards." They'll be pretty hungry at the end of 24 hours, naked, standing bewildered and stranded in the open, far from home, with no-one to talk to because nobody knows how to converse, since what teachers do means nothing either... By preference, this experiment should be done either during a heat wave with FRYING temperatures, or in a blizzard.

Not even that much is necessary. Just make them clean up their own mess. (Why yes, I've worked in a hospital.)

Hell, just take away their nurse practitioner and make 'em do everything themselves. They'll have passed out after two hours. (My mom works in a hospital.)

I'm not to the point of earning my living by writing, much as I want to make that happen, but I can still say this sounds about right when I try to imagine it sometimes. Still, I'm excited to be working toward that future and thus I chime in with an "amen" echoed from those days to come. -doesn't make any sense and wonders off to hide- >_>

Edited at 2012-12-28 12:35 am (UTC)

I don't write fiction, but yes, tapping at a keyboard sure is a weird way to make a living. At least authors see tangible results from their tapping, in the form of bound books at the store.

I make a living by demonstrating exercises and counting while people imitate me. It's one of the strangest professions I've ever heard of.

It certainly accomplishes a useful purpose! And knowing how some clients are, you've earned your keep in more than one way.

I have been able to, in recent times, make a fair living from writing — but much of this is writing to please the US federal government. There is, indeed, a certain amount of shame associated with this, notwithstanding the fact that I'm good at it.

===|==============/ Level Head

The last statement rings true. This week I'm being paid good money to directly convert very horrible Visual Basic 6 code into equally horrible VB.NET code. I can fix the code to make it pretty, but they do not want that.

Reminds me of the first time I started selling art at conventions.

People would take things I had drawn - sometimes stuff I drew at 3 in the morning with little idea what I was doing and give me money for a copy.

Even now that I've been doing that sort of thing for years now it's still sort of baffling to me how that works at all.

Hey, are you on Dreamwidth? LJ is increasingly unusable and I'm starting to pack up house over here, but I'd love to keep reading you there.

Not currently, but I may migrate eventually (or maintain a joint presence!)

Glad to hear you may migrate at some point! Your journal is one of the few I still follow on LJ, alas. The times they are a-changin'.

I'm sure you heard about these at the time, but here's a couple Digger cameo's:



(Yes, we just discovered this strip… I've burnt through the first few years in a couple days so far.)

Oooooh! That's wonderful.

The bit about stockbrokers being equivalent to charlatans is sadly true. I've done a little reading of stuff by stockbrokers and their spin on their activities. It's almost impressive to hear their defense of insider trading and naked short selling and speculation and whatnot.

  • 1