Fiction Daily.
A blog on writing, writers and why we read. Posted most mornings by Marion Blackburn.
Writers strike Pt. 1
If you're following the strike by Hollywood writers, you've seen talks start and fail several times over the past couple of weeks.

My motives for keeping up with the strike mostly have to do with wanting to guarantee the return of "House" in the new year. It's well written, uses difficult medical language often spoken very fast, and ... who'd have thought The States would end up with England's jewel in the crown, Hugh Laurie, starring in the role of a conflicted, tormented but brilliant doctor? Oh, and it's never lupus.

Back to the strike. I've also been keeping up because no matter how unsympathetic we feel toward anyone in La La Land, where plastic surgery, spa treatment and ten-thousand-dollar "goody bags" are de rigeur, most writers, even there, are hard-working souls who do it for love. No one writes for the money, no matter how much they're paid.

The truth is, staking out as a writer in the world is a tightrope walk. How do you balance doing what you love with the very real need to make your house payment, buy groceries, take your Walker hound to the vet for emergency surgery and get a new engine gasket for your car?

I am my own accountant, maintenance crew and IT manager. I capitalize everything -- new computer, software, printers, Internet access. No free legal pads here.

Writing represents not just years of working on a craft, it represents giving your editor or your clients a little home in your brain for days, weeks -- or however long you work with them.

In return, writers think through complex issues and make them clear and, if we've done our job right, enjoyable. I've worked as everything from a receptionist, to a bartender, to a medical office assistant and secretary on my way to where I am today and all along the way, I was working on writing. I've learned that some jobs you do for a time and leave, while other jobs are as close as your next breath.

As a writer, most jobs are of the latter kind.

So when I read that writers are on strike, I figure there's something real at stake here and I need to care.

(TOMORROW: What's at state in the Writers Guild of America strike.)

2007-12-10 12:51:36 GMT
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