Sometimes I feel like a housewife. Take today, when I’m at home at 10:00 a.m., chatting it up with the dishwasher repairman, who moved here from the Ukraine twenty years ago and, God love him, keeps dropping the kind of hints for which dishwasher repairmen are so justifiably famous, as in, “Does your husband treat you good? I can treat you very good. You need anything, you call me. For you, I give a very good price.” I ask if I can pay with a credit card. “My dear, you can pay with anything.”
After he leaves, it’s over to the couch with notebook and pen and, of course, coffee, to try to get a handle on the novel-in-progress. And this feels very much like playing hooky. No matter that the book is sold, my editor is waiting, the publisher has a calendar on which it is quite firmly penciled in; no matter that writing this book is technically my job, I cannot help but feel that the very act of staying home to write is akin, somehow, to spending my day eating bon-bons. Shouldn’t I be out in the world, providing a service, replacing a lung, building a bridge, repairing someone’s dishwasher?
Writers have said some pretty self-important things about writing over the years. Take Frederick Busch’s A Dangerous Profession: A Book About the Writing Life. A dangerous profession? Really? [Read more…]