I'm going to talk about what work means to me, but first I would like to say that I like to work very much. If you don't like to work then you are unfortunate and lazy. Or at best you haven't learned what it is you like to do.
Maybe you could become an entomologist.
I like carpentry, and gardening, and cooking, and raising kids, and raising chickens and bees, and teaching. To my mind these things are work. If you think that raising children is not work, tell that to the people who raised you.
But I'm going to talk mainly about writing here. I write novels, and stories (here's one [click the Download Issue link]), and sometimes essays (see here).
When I was a kid, I wrote without any thought of publishing. That was very nice. Then I published a few stories, and that was nice, too, and I kept writing and writing. At some point, in my early twenties, I noticed that I'd written a book and I guessed that the next step was to publish a book, but it turned out that publishing a book was hard. That wasn't so nice, but I kept writing anyway. (Sometimes I even wrote about how often I wrote, and where I wrote, and about the gratitude and luck that was mine to keep [see here].
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, starred review
“A tour de force of a debut novel.... Powered by rich imagery, darkly lyrical prose, and a deeply philosophical undertone, this novel explores the nature of family...with profoundly moving conclusions”
William Faulkner said, "I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible. In my opinion, if I could write all my work again, I am convinced that I would do it better, which is the healthiest condition for an artist. That's why he keeps on working, trying again; he believes each time that this time he will do it, bring it off. Of course he won't, which is why this condition is healthy. Once he did it, once he matched the work to the image, the dream, nothing would remain but to cut his throat."
That part about cutting his throat seems a little dire, doesn't it? Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to quote that. But let's look again at that first line. "Our splendid failure." Yours and mine. What a beautiful idea!
Then I published a book, a collection of stories called The Inconvenience of the Wings. Then Unbridled Books accepted my novel. It came out October, 2016. If you would like to know more about either of them, click on the covers.
The stag beetle on the top of the page is rather scary. Have you ever seen a stag beetle? This one is a male. You can tell by the enlarged mandibles. It uses those mandibles to wrestle with other beetles. I wish it wouldn't do that.