Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I love this quote

“Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, and then for a few close friends, and then for money.”...Moliere

Ain't that the truth? I began writing CycleDog as a laboratory for columns intended for the Red Dirt Pedalers newsletter, but it just kind of mutated into something more. Things have changed over the years. I've written plenty of comedy, some screeds and rants, and even some thoughtful pieces that - to my great surprise - have influenced others in the bicycling advocacy field.

But as I rode my bike less due to injuries, the bicycling content here dwindled. I stay busy, however, so there's been more on cameras and photography, history, and other personal subjects. Trust me, bicycling is not going away. It's still a big piece of my life. And since my knee seems to be getting stable again, I plan to be back on the bike soon.

Still, why that quote up above? Most of you know I write for the Examiner too. It pays more than blogging and it's not too demanding, although to be honest, it doesn't pay much. In a good month, it was enough to take the family out to dinner once or twice. In a bad month, it was more on the order of frozen pizza.

On the subject of writing and money, let's just say that when it's a choice between spending an hour writing here, or an hour writing something for pay, the money often wins. That's been thrown into sharp relief recently, when I found a venue that pays better than the Examiner. It's not about bicycling, so I won't go into it other than to say it's more in the area of my technical expertise with electronics. Dry, yes. And humorless.

So, like a prostitute, I'm doing it for the money.

Last summer, I took a shot at a long magazine piece for a local publication. For several reasons, it went wildly wrong. I still think the editor wanted a hatchet piece, one that did not show his own fingerprints. When I didn't deliver that, communications became distinctly chilly. Though I received a kill fee - a partial payment for the column - I ended up working for considerably less than minimum wage. It was instructive, nonetheless.

That's the long way around. What I'm saying is that I won't spend an inordinate amount of time chasing after an editor's wants and needs. I'm trying to find that balance between time/income/effort and the whole concept of balance is one that any cyclist can appreciate.

I like writing. Sometimes I love it. Other times I hate it when I sit at this keyboard and the screen remains stubbornly blank. One thing is clear, though, and that's the simple truth that I can't stop.


Blogger The Donut Guy said...

I know you have problems with pain like me.......I know this is a *ton* of money, but to be honest- it was the best 500 bucks I EVER spent on myself.

It allows me to get back out and enjoy the wind in my hair :-) When I'm having a bad pain day- I let the motor do most of the work....when I'm having a good day- I do most of the pedaling.

Like I said- it's a sh*tload of bucks, but it's very well made-I've been beating on mine for close to two years now with absolutely no issues.

4:45 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

I've been considering a scooter or small motorcycle, George, if the pain continues. It's only been in the last two weeks that the knee felt like it wouldn't bend in novel directions. It was unstable for some time and felt as if it would buckle to the inside. The doc said it wouldn't actually do that, but it was disturbing. I walked without the cane all day today - a first!

I just bought a new cane to replace my old Irish one that's developed some big cracks. I'm afraid it could break completely. It's 25 years old, so it was time. The new one is sumac and was made in central PA. It's rated for 300 pounds. Chances are, that since I have a brand new cane, I won't need it anymore. But I can live with that.

7:03 PM  

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