Song Contest

So I got this request from Dom.

“Find a song that sums up what you think it means to be a writer and post the lyrics on your blog and why you’ve chosen it. NB: It doesn’t have to be your favourite song, it just has to express how you feel about writing and/or being a writer. It can be literal, metaphorical, about a particular form or aspect of writing – whatever you want.”


Having had a wee think about this, I’ve been unable to come up with a song that captures how I feel about writing. And I think that’s because of this:

I don’t see writing as a vocation. I think it’s a job.

It’s an interesting job, a great job, one of the most wonderful jobs in the world. But at the end of the day, it’s still a job.

You might as well ask an accountant “What songs, to you, are all about accounting?”

I don’t know. Perhaps if you asked the greatest accountants in the world, maybe they would be able to wax poetical about what accounting means to them, expressed through the medium of their favourite pop song.

Sadly, I just couldn’t think of any songs in which the singer expresses how much they enjoy their work.

So. Nothing from me on this one.

23 responses to “Song Contest”

  1. Writing not a vocation?!

    Omigod you are so, so, so, so, wrong. In fact you are a Wrongian from the Planet Wrong in the Universe of Unutterable Mistakes.

  2. When I was a ‘wee’ thing growing up I dreamed of being an accountant (or a nun).

    I still like playing with figures/forecasts/budgets etc but nowadays I prefer to fill blank pages with words rather than numbers.

    The nun thing didn’t work out either.

  3. I don’t trust anyone who believes they have a calling without objective evidence that they’re good at the job.

    Without that, what you’ve got is an opinion.

    Possibly a hobby.

    And that goes for priests, writers, and accountants all.

  4. “Objective evidence”??

    Now I know you’re insane or maybe a phenomenalist.

    Every human being in the world has to interpret stuff to understand it in the first place (even supposed “facts”), which is in turn coloured by every experience they’ve ever had. Ergo objective evidence does not exist.

    My work here is done.

  5. Can… open…

    Worms… everywhere…

    This is one of those debates where neither extreme can be ‘right’, I’d say. The reality is probably a subtle combination of both. Writing has to be a job in many senses, in terms of approaching it with the right discipline and making a living out of it. Yet if it isn’t also a compulsive activity in some respects, then that job is going to be a whole lot less fun.


    That’s it. When I’m Goddess of the internet, I’m going on a killing spree. And I’m starting right here, on this very blog.


  7. I think I’d probably draw the line at empiricism with a large side order of intentional stance.

    And you and I, Lucy, can agree that something is red (for this gedankenexperiment let’s imagine something, say, postbox red), despite the fact that we cannot prove that we are perceiving the same quale.

    For the purposes of communicating, whether we perceive the same subjective colour is irrelevant.

    I leave the proof that Russell T Davies is a better writer than Edward George Bulwer-Lytton as an exercise for the reader.

  8. What happened to ‘Songs for Writers?’
    I think the lack of ditties about the excitement of a person sitting at a laptop/typewriter/scroll of parchment suggest that it’s more exciting to do than witness.
    I used to belong to a writer’s group and died inside every time someone pitched a film about a ‘frustrated scriptwriter’. I know -‘write what you know’- but really, of all the subjects in the universe, YOU’RE the most interesting?
    And I don’t have any writer-themed songs either. Damn

  9. I’ve got one for when you’re working with less than great producers (it can happen, I’ve heard):
    ‘Nothing is Good Enough’ by Aimee Mann, a singer who had more than her fair share of record label/management woes/

  10. You are such a cynic, Beckley. Not that I’m even remotely surprised by that fact. It’s not a vocation, but if it was just work, well let’s face it, there are hundreds of better paid, more secure, less stressful jobs out there.

    Or is it just that you’re avoiding admitting to your suspect taste in music…..

  11. Why does it not surprise me you would choose RED as your example Beckley?!?

    I doubt we would actually agree on anything anyway. One man’s postbox red is one woman’s crimson or scarlet. If I were French, it would be rouge anyway.

  12. I’d love to join in this debate but I don’t understand all the long words.

    I think I agree with Piers though, purely on the grounds I’ve actually met him and he probably bought me a drink.

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