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Monday, September 3, 2012

The Labor Day of Writing

by Cynthia Light Brown

Harold Lehman, Renovo post office mural, "Railroad Repair" (1943)
If you’re reading this, you’re a writer, or perhaps an artist. You may not have sold any of your work anywhere, and you may not intend to ever do so. But you are a writer, and it requires labor to bring the writing forth.

Labor, of course, has another meaning - one I’ve been through three times. Labor often comes in fits and starts, especially at the beginning, but it eventually overtakes us, consuming every jot of energy and focus. For nearly all of us, it takes us to the extremity of pain.

I hope your writing is not quite that painful. But I do hope it absorbs your focus and energy, that at least at times, it overtakes you and you’re lost in your characters, setting, plot, theme, that you live there in your sleeping and eating and dreaming and in between spaces in your life.

For my own part, I have been absorbed in the hurly-burly of family life lately – a good thing – but it’s time for me to sink into my writing again.
Ralph Henricksen working on a mural for the Horace Mann's School, Chicago, as part of a WPA project in 1938.

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