Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Word whore

That not-so-innocent little phrase could mean anything. That I collect words: scribble them down in tattered old notebooks like aging spinsters squirrel away trinkets, memorabilia, and other remnants of the past. That I am prolific to the point of redundancy. Or that I'm a writer-for-hire ready to sell herself to the highest bidder.

If you guessed the last description most closely resembles yours truly, you're right. Okay, so I don't write trash. I'm not a jaded journalist willing to spout whatever propaganda currently incites the masses. I'm worse — a technical writer who writes treatises on software applications, policies and procedures, even university guidelines and academic course descriptions. Give me a suitable per diem and I'll write, edit, proofread and typeset anything your slightly scientific heart desires.

Yesterday I told my current client that I'm hitting the road because another, more interesting opportunity presented itself. I was within my rights, I argued, because they'd been giving me less than half the hours originally indicated (i.e., sorely depleting the family coffers) plus the work was more suited to a junior writer (i.e., they were paying me way too much for brain-numbing work). I feel bad, of course. I'm the kind of person who fulfills promises, meets deadlines, returns emails, and even finishes novels she's written. But with age comes wisdom and the realization that you have to do in life what interests you. Writing interests me. Even technical writing, when it's a brand spanking new piece of software I'm documenting, sure to change the world (well, probably not, but a bit of self-delusion works wonders, don't you agree?).

Gosh, I remember finishing every work of fiction I started reading, regardless of the quality of the plot or prose. Those days are long gone. Sure, when I buy a book I enter into a relationship with the writer but only in so far as he or she meets my expectations. If the writer fails, I bail and turn to the next book. There are just too many books to read.

And too many exciting jobs out there to pass up.

So just call me wh...who..oh, dear, I can't say it...fickle.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Annie said...

Let's just say you're a fickle word whore and be done, shall we, Eva?

That aside, congratulations on being old enough to stand up for yourself and what you really, really want. I've discovered it's one of the advantages of aging. Best of luck with the new writing job!

8:18 pm  
Blogger Stacy Dawn said...

LOL. Why is it that maturity comes slowly--if it ever comes at all LOL.

Good luck on the new words you get to whore.

Hmmm, I'm undecided if that came out wrong...or right?

9:32 pm  
Blogger Brown said...

Wait a minute, did you just say, "Worse, I'm a technical writer?" I'm a fan of technical writers. Reading manuals for my computer and electronics is the reason that I've never felt the need to use drugs. Just one page of 'socket 'a' into drive 'b,' and I feel like I'm on acid...reading those suckers is hard enough, let alone trying to decipher and write it in the first place...you're not a whore, you're a Warrior. A fierce word-warrior who wages into the battles of whomever needs you more - the fact that it's the ones who pay and give you the most hours is a mere coincidence.

And I say Warrior-Whore, whoops, I mean Word-Warrior, I salute you. Life is truly too short to be spent doing things that you don't love. That kind of stuff makes your days drag and ages you before your time. So "You go girl!" (Do they even say that anymore?) and go where your heart leads you. We'll be right behind you, bringing lawn chairs, wine, pineapple bite/wedge thingies and pictures of naked men...the pictures are for us. You're supposed to be working.

9:45 pm  
Blogger India said...

I'm glad I'm not the only harlot round here.

Welcome to the dark side, Eva!

10:13 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm looking to track down a couple of members of Romance Writers of Edmonton for an article I am writing for the Edmonton journal this week (my article is due Weds. feb 7)

I'm wondering if anyone can help me get in touch with a couple of writers who might be interested in chatting with me briefly over the telephone.

Thanks very much for your assistance,

caitlincrawshaw@hotmail.com

4:58 am  

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