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Writing Is Work

As a writer, do you ever feel misunderstood? Sometimes I do. It's mainly when I let myself get concerned with what other people think, which I'm trying to work on. One of the most frustrating things is knowing there are some people that don't consider writing a job. Not many people feel this way, but occasionally you'll run onto one such person. They just don't see how writing stories can be considered work. And I hate to admit it, but I've been guilty of looking down my nose at some other professions myself.

Like photography.

In the past, photography didn't seem like such a big deal to me. My thinking was, "How hard could it be to point a camera at an object and press a button?"

But I quickly learned that this is not the case. My sister-in-law is a photographer and one Easter she forgot to bring her tripod to church and asked me to snap a few family photos for her. Well, I tried, but it wasn't easy. All the different settings on her professional camera were so confusing to me. I didn't know what any of them meant, nor how to use them. And what I thought was going to be the perfect shot turned out lopsided even though it seemed I had the camera positioned at just the right angle. This experience quickly put me in my place and made me realize that there is a lot more work that goes into photography than I initially thought. And it doesn't end with just taking photos; photographers spend countless hours editing (note: that means using the program Photoshop, which makes absolutely no sense to me), they put a lot of effort into promoting their business, trying to find new clients, as well as working with clients in order to make the shoot all they're looking for, which is often quite a lot. And sometimes those clients are not easy to work with. Plus, as an author, photographers really come in handy. Since I've already expressed my lack of skills in the art photography, there's no way I could come up with the stunning covers or beautiful headshots for author bios I've seen some photographers produce.

I'm sure there are people that feel the same way about writing that I used to feel about photography. Similar can be said of any creative profession such as music, painting, cosmetology, etc... We're all quick to judge a book by its cover, claiming there's nothing to it and that these jobs don't matter. But where would we be without these things? Our lives would be incredibly dull. And we all know that God blesses each of uniquely in different areas of life.

I think it's important for us to look outside of ourselves and not just assume what we want about other professions. Just because a photographer or a writer's day looks a little different from yours does not mean they don't work hard. Look at it from their point of view, or better yet, try it out for yourself. Take a moment to see what all goes into another person's career, to really see how hard that person works. It won't take long. You may be surprised by what you find.

Sure, our jobs may not deal with things that people need to survive such as food, shelter, or clothing, but they're things people look forward to. People look forward to reading books to escape the everyday grind. People want to have professional photos of their family taken that can cheer them up when they're having a bad day. People want to listen to music and get their hair cut because it makes them feel better about themselves, their lives, even the world. Part of our jobs as artists is to make people feel good, to help them view things differently. But even more than that, our jobs feed our souls. What more could we ask for from a career?

If you put effort into something and work at it, then it is a job, no matter what. Just because it isn't typical doesn't mean it isn't work. We could all be a little more understanding of each other and respectful toward one another and the world would be a better place. And to all the photographers out there, I am extending my heartiest apologies. You all work hard and God has blessed you all with incredible talent. Because take my word for it, people sure as heck don't want me taking their picture!

-Miranda Atchley

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