Leave me alone. I’m writing.
Christopher Jennings Penders
My friend, Mike Allton inspired today’s column when he shared:
12 Things You Should Never Say To A Writer
Before I start this column, let me say, I’m aware that many of you may see the above quote and think:
Wow! That’s kind of harsh.
Let me just say sometimes in order to create boundaries we need to be harsh. To protect ourselves.
I’m sure writers everywhere have experienced interruptions with the person doing the interrupting saying something like:
Oh, you’re only writing and you can’t take a moment to talk? Or something to that effect
It’s the only writing thing that disturbs me more than being interrupted because THAT ONE phrase trivializes what we do. It seems as if ALL artists are spoken to this way.
–Would you interrupt a lawyer in the middle of a trial?
–Would you interrupt a chef while they were cooking?
I think not?
Then why is it alright to do so to an artist? Because art, ANY KIND of art is no longer taken seriously. We consider it a hobby, something people do to pass the time; not as a vocation, not as something one does to get paid. This is also reflected in the world when someone asks if you can give your work away without compensation. There is an overall lack of respect for artists in general and I find it shameful that it still happens.
Writers matter. For without the written word, society would cease to exist. So the next time you consider interrupting a writer while they are working, AFTER they have already said as much (And YES. I said working) think about whether you would do the same to someone in another field. It’s why when I write, I don’t answer my phone, or respond to texts or emails. Most of my friends and family now understand that IF I don’t respond, it means that I’m working. And on the off chance that I do pick up a ringing phone and say I’m writing and I can call back later, MOST people understand. It took some conditioning to get the point across and yes there are STILL SOME times when I need to recondition. For the most part however, people now respect me when I say I can call back later. I even have an outgoing message on my phone that says I may be writing.
Anything we can do to get across the understanding that yes, for some of us, writing is much more than just a hobby.
For me, writing was my first passion even before I picked up my first camera. I’ve been writing since I COULD write. So when someone, ANYONE disrespects my writing, they disrespect me.
Am I the only one who feels this way? Would love to hear from others in the comments below.
Be Happy! Be Well! Be Positive!
Blessings to you.
Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;
We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying. For there truly is no end.