Money For Nothing

So you want to be a rock and roll star, which started the genre of easy money how to recordings.  We thank you the Byrds.  Of course the next big hit in that vein was BTO, Taking Care Of Business.  Then came Dire Straits with Money For Nothing.  For my money BTO had the best song in that genre.  So I am taking care of business, working overtime, unpaid of course but one never knows, I might win the lottery and actually write that killer novel.  Yes, writers are self employed, always have been and always will be unless you take instructions from those who tell you what the write.  Well, that is the conundrum, isn’t it?  As a writer, who do you work for?  I don’t have to worry since I have my social security to pay my way.  But for those of you who don’t have that luxury, well, the world makes it difficult.  So either you keep the day job and write on your time of you work for someone who claims your allegiance.  Decisions, decisions, how does on decide?  I can’t answer for you.  Back in the nineties I discovered my ability to write clearly with an eye to inform and instruct others on how certain procedures should or must be completed.  And I became very good at assimilation of knowledge and being able to write in a way that informed and educated.  Perhaps it is a gift but it served me very well.  I found that I could take in a great deal of material and disseminate that knowledge in a manner that made sense to many others.  In a way  found my own way of taking care of business.  True, I have not made much money doing that.  I wrote several books on technical subjects that were never published.  One must be multiple degreed and highly places successful individual.  I was on the cutting edge and had my fifteen minutes of fame on the world stage, but that was not enough to garner a book deal, regardless of the information my tow books would have contained.  As a writer you will find these problems are hard to surmount and overcome in the non fiction world.  Fiction is another world.

Fiction allows you, the writer, to become a serious philosopher without having to go through all the crap of writing vast tracts of extremely dense prose that proves your point.  If John Rawls tried to prove his point on Justice through a novel it would have been an absolute failure.  As it was, his non fiction philosophical tract garners both praise and criticism.  For my own opinion, when you have to constantly slant the playing field to prove your point you have lost the argument.  But when you use fiction and a story line, you can provide the nuances to give your point some probability, some valid explanation.  We use our characters to speak out dialogues for us, to give our arguments some form and sense of reality.  No one expects a character to speak most clearly on any specific subject, he or she can only speak to that conclusion that the reader may supply.  It is the impreciseness that allows the author to express some conviction in a rather non concise set of terms but that the reader can discern.  This is a most powerful effect of writing, something most of us are not fully aware.

Me and my loved one have been watching Barney Miller, I bought the complete series.  One of the results that writers of various television shows have is the ability to affect the though process of the populace.  Did you ever noticed that Hal Linden, as the character of Barney Miller really holds no hard and fast convictions as to how the world acts or how he relates?  Everything is relative and noncommittal?  Barney Miller really believes in very little as hard belief.  One wonders just what does this character holds as sacred, as worth dying for, as the key to living.  Those writers for such television shows affected the belief systems of millions of Americans without their being aware of just what was being imparted, being said for them.  So with today’s sitcoms, drama shows, police shows, and reality stupidity, just what great truths are expressed?  Did you ever wonder?  Writers have a great impact upon society.  Yet we view writing as something less than respectable.  Funny that in France they treat writes with far greater respect.

I have a small village house in a small village which claims a French writer of note as its native son.  When word gets around that I am a writer by way of posting articles on a blog site that is actually read by a few individuals I will be held in great honor in that village of three hundred souls.  Not that I consider myself a write, I figure you really don’t get to cal yourself one unless you have actually been paid to write.  Freebies like wordpress don’t count in my mind.  But there is still that link one builds through writing.  Seldom do writers get money for nothing when they write.  We seldom achieve rock star status as it seems that faking talent for writing is far harder than making a lot of popular noise sometimes called music.  Every year I spend three months in France, three months in which I work on my village house repointing the stone walls and writing each morning.  Yes, I have been writing a novel for a long time and it accords me some extra respect in the village.  Should I ever be published and possibly win some award I am sure the village will celebrate their good fortune.  It matters what and whom you take pride in, for in the history of the village it matters that its pride should push it forward to some exalted height.  It is the way of the French, if you like.  It is the way of human behavior in all its basic understanding of behavior.

Meanwhile I’ll settle for honorable mention should I write something of worth in fictional novels.  I will try and do my adopted village proud, they have so little to keep them in the eyes of France.  And if they choose to put a brass commemorative plate  on my house, then so much the better.  As it is, I have them to think of as I write and know that my success is their success.  I am know as the American in the village, so I can graduate to the Novelist of the village.  That is something we can all share and I look forward to fulfilling their dreams.  Take your money for nothing, it suits those who have no self respect, no pride.  There are things writers earn through their efforts.  God, I look forward to writing that first book I will allow to see the light of day.  That is what life as a writer is about, that is what we want for ourselves.


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