Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor of Love ~ The Life of a Writer

Today the Graffiti Wall was supposed to reopen, highlighting a fabulous author; however, I decided to hold off a week, because of Labor Day.

Labor ~ according to Dictionary.com is productive activity, especially for financial gain; physical or mental work, especially of a hard or fatiguing kind. A job or task done or to be done. And here's a few synonyms: chore, daily grind, job, strain, stress, struggle, sweat, and toil.


No wonder every-so-often writers go through slumps, wondering if their efforts are worth it. We've been programmed to see labor in a negative light. Now I'm not sure about you, but I didn't start writing for financial gain or as a chore. Writing is definitely mental work and sometimes it's hard and stressful, even fatiguing. And I do consider it my job, but is writing a task in the sense that it's a struggle of sweat and toil? That sounds rather unpleasant to me. If it is to you, you might want to reconsider your view of work & labor.

Here's my definition of Labor ~ an act, driven by a deeper desire to explore and give of oneself, to grow and expand the mind and body; to mature and see all life has to offer through new eyes. (Can you tell I've given birth 4 times?)

Labor Day is a day to celebrate the act of work. When did work gain such a negative connotation or receive grimaces and sighs? Work is good for us, pushes and challenges us, makes us grow and stretch beyond our preconceived means.

The same theology that I share with my kids, who play ice hockey, applies here. I tell them "When you've skated all you think you have, when you're racing for the puck and think there's no more in you yet keep striving forward....that's when you grow--the true labor of work. The gift of becoming who you are meant to be."   


There are ups and downs in this writing business, just as in all aspects of life. Embrace each, take from it what your personal journey needs, and toss the rest. Writers labor very hard. And the true gold at the end of each writer's rainbow is being able to look back and see where you've been and where you are now. There is power in that knowledge and future growth in that power.

Happy Writerly Labor Day!!

21 comments:

  1. I hear the word labor, and I too think of pushing out new life. Not to mention the years off picking up toys afterwards. ;)

    Love the inspiring post, Sheri.

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  2. I think of writing as a labor of love, something I enjoy. It lets me express a creative side I didn't know I had. Thanks for the great post.

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  3. I do think work builds character and can make a happy person, especially if you're working hard at what you love to do. I wish more people had that opportunity though.

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  4. Yay, Sheri! Thanks for saying it! When DID the word WORK take on such a negative connotation? Work is good for us, and work is what supplies us with the means to live (unless you're living off some trust fund left by ancestors who worked harder than you). Those people who want to work and cannot find a job look with envy on those of us who have work. Let's appreciate it for the gift it is -- whether you work outside the home or inside, with your hands or with your heart and head.

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  5. Love this post! How fitting today! I think Labor and Luck go hand in hand, the harder you work the luckier you become, or so I've told myself. Each time I query, though it's tough, I remind myself I continue to write because I love it. Somethinga bout that comment keeps my thoughts together.

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  6. Yay!! Great way to put it. Sometimes hard work feels good when you really dig in.

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  7. I love how you put it. I love the feeling of accomplishment after a day of hard work. :)

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  8. This is going to seem silly, but I never associated labor day with my writing, just my day job. But you're right, our writing is a tough job too and it deserves it's due!

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  9. I like your version of labor much better.
    You have four kids? Wow. I just saw comedian Jim Gaffigan do an interview and he stated his wife had just had their fourth kid. Jimmy Kimmel asked him what it was like to have four kids. Jim replied "Imagine you're drowning and someone hands you a baby." I about died!

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  10. That's a wonderful meaning for labour! I have been considering my writing career deeply over the last few days and I want to start taking it a lot more seriously. Thanks for the post.

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  11. Haha...Thanks, Alex.

    Dianne - I know. Somewhere along the line of time work/labor gained such a negative feel. We grow through the toils of labor no matter what labor that might be. ;D

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  12. Great post and fodder for thinking today. :)

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  13. Great post. Love your definition of labor. It does have so many different meanings.

    My writing is my current job, but it's also a labor of love (pardon the cliche). I love what I'm doing. It's not the money, which is very little btw, but the enjoyment I have in creating stories, meeting new characters, and traveling to unknown worlds that inspire me.

    Happy Labor Day to all.

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  14. You're so right on how labor creates character. A slothful person is never one who cares and one who labors had drive!

    I have four babies, too! I'd have it no other way.

    Happy Labor Day, Sheri! <3


    ♥.•*¨Elizabeth¨*•.♥
    Can Alex save Winter from the darkness that hunts her?
    YA Paranormal Romance, Darkspell coming fall of 2011!

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  15. Awesome and inspiring post! yes, I love to work hard at my writing.

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  16. Very true, Sheri. I'm just glad that I love writing so much. It almost doesn't seem like work. Okay, well the marketing, branding, submitting, etc. parts may seem like work. ;)

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  17. There is seriously something to be said about knowing how to work hard. And to keep working through hard things. Great post!

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  18. awesome! you are so right... and writing is definitely one of those labors that I love. (Although I'm not sad to report that I skipped the labor portion of the delivery for both my DDs).

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  19. No matter what the labor is, as long as you love it, it's very worth doing.

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