Kartnerstrasse, Vienna 2008
Sunday night on Vienna's main pedestrian street was pure entertainment. The shops weren't open on Sunday, but parents carrying babies, intertwined sweethearts, flocks of teenagers, old folks, homeless people and society's finest could be found strolling downtown. Artists and musicians of every description gave buskers new credibility. They were working hard just for the fun of it.
Classical music was everywhere. An opera diva, dressed in her finery, stood on a bench and reached all the high notes. The crystal glasses on the next corner were in danger of shattering! A musician dipped his fingertips in water and rubbed the tops of the glasses (which were filled to various levels) and played a Strauss waltz. Down the way a pianist in a tuxedo played a concerto for an appreciative crowd.
This little band played Dixieland style. It's polite to drop a few coins in the banjo case when you stop to listen, or take a photo.
A German speaking marionette told jokes, sang and danced. None of these entertainers could do this for a living. One could be employed as a chef, another as a taxi driver, another as a kindergarten teacher. But they were all talented and obviously in need of someone to enjoy their work with them.
Do you ever work just for fun? I could be a busker. I set up my little talent show every night on my blog, just like a guitar player finds a place in a subway station. It's fun to have someone on the other side of my efforts.
Gail Sher wrote a book called One Continuous Mistake, Four Noble Truths for Writers.
She has a chapter called A Writing Habit. Speaking of Ralph Waldo Emerson, she said, "He wrote constantly, he wrote about everything, he covered hundreds of pages. When he had nothing to say, he wrote about having nothing to say. He read and indexed and reread what he had written. He copied letters into his journals and prose from his journals into his letters."
I've got a serious writing habit. I can do it in some form all day long. I'm thinking about what I'll write, getting stuff done so I can write, or reading about ways to write. I work hard, don't earn a dime, and it's totally fun!
What are you obsessed with? Is your work fun?
A few weeks ago someone asked if I'd tell how I study writing. Here's a list of some of my resources.
Blogs About Writing:
A Writer's Words, An Editor's Eye
Write Your Life
Books About Writing:
Writing the Memoir by Judith Barrington
Mastering Online Research by Maura D. Shaw
The Little Red Writing Book by Brandon Royal
Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson
The English Language by David Crystal
Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman
Write Right by Jan Venolia
The Art of Column Writing by Suzette Martinez Standring
Spunk and Bite by Arthur Plotnik
Online Writing Courses:
Gotham Writers Workshop
Writers Online Workshops