Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"Writing is hard," said Barbie.

I don't know if it's an urban legend but I've heard that Barbie dolls once came with a pull string voice box that said either, "Math is hard," or "Science is hard."

I think it was probably "Math." If it mattered which, I could google it. But google is *hard*.

Anyhow, h/t to Ann Althouse to linked to this column. Love to Write? Keep It to Yourself.

I have advice for Rachel Toor, the author.

If you don't want to hear people explain that they love to write, stop complaining about how horrible it is. You explain how a friend...
made the mistake of interrupting me on one of the myriad occasions when I was ranting about the hard work of writing.
Stop ranting.

Yes, writing is work. But constant public ranting about how much work it is is fishing for sympathy and, perhaps, praise. There are other jobs you could do. If you had a good friend who dug ditches and ranted on myriad occasions about how hard it was, would you *not* tell him how you enjoy physical labor as a break from the keyboard or else finally tell him he ought to get a new job?

Of course you would.

If you hate writing, Rachel, quit writing and find a job you enjoy.

The thing is... Barbie was right. Math *is* hard. And for those who do Math professionally, it's *work*. It's an exhausting effort to do it well. This is true for any profession.

So why was the "Math is hard" Barbie so reviled?

Answer that question and you may solve your anger problem.


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