Monday, December 9, 2013

The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes

There’s an old saying: “The cobbler’s children have no shoes.”  (For those who don’t know, a cobbler is a shoe maker.) The idea of the saying is that a cobbler spends so much time making shoes for his customers that he has no time to make shoes for his own children.

Now that I and my writer friends are out of college and have jobs (some of us even have those coveted “real jobs”), I see how this phrase lives on. When people spend all day expending energy at their job, it can be difficult to muster the additional mental energy to then do writing. Similarly, if your day job is writing, it’s all too easy to tell yourself “I’ve written all day; I need to do something else.” And then you become a writer that doesn’t do any personal writing.

I know it’s easier said than done, but if you love writing, then make the time to write. If you lack energy at the end of the day, then try writing in the morning before work. If you’re a night writer, then jolt yourself with some caffeine to give you that buzz to push on. And if you really think you’re burned out from writing all day, then try writing one creative sentence and just see if it is fun enough to want to write a second one.

Professional writers should also be able to do personal writing. Don’t let the cobbler’s children have no shoes. (Or in this case, don’t let the writer’s children be illiterate.)

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