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Writing's Work
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"Amateurs hope; professionals work."

That's the catch phrase being used by Kenyon Martin, forward for the New Jersey Nets basketball team.

My morning sports scan seldom turns up anything pertinent to writing but here's an exception. There's a lot of truth to that quote. Lately work's been on my mind. I've been working. Not at fiction. Rather, trying to turn over the legal writing I do for a living fast enough so that come summer there'll be a few weeks left to help compose the next mystery novel. It's the new pattern to my life. For years I punched the corporate clock. Unfortunately that particular timepiece has a nasty counterpunch. Now I work frantically on legal articles, on contract, in order to free myself to work frantically on novels.

I'm fortunate to be able to do so. With its amazing marketing, Poisoned Pen Press sells a lot more books than any independent has a right to sell. Every sale gives me a little extra time to write fiction.

Too many aspiring writers are not willing to put in the hours, to alter their routines, to make the sacrifices, necessary to get published. They think all it takes is inspiration and when that fails they decide it's nothing but luck. Or if they just find the right agent, or maybe a movie producer or get Oprah to touch them, maybe then they'll have their bestseller. As for the idea that maybe you write one book, then another and another and repeat the process several more times...well, that's like their regular job, only harder. No kidding.

Sometimes I think many perpetual amateurs see writing as a way out of work. Money for nothing. Freedom from...whatever. That means selling books.

Amateurs want to write so they can sell books.

More than a few professionals want to sell books so they can keep writing.

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