Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Writing Is A Cop-Out

by Jill Earl

It’s said that Monica Dickens, writer and great-granddaughter of Charles Dickens once declared, “Writing is a cop-out. An excuse to live perpetually in fantasyland, where you can create, direct and watch the products of your own head. Very selfish.”

A rather interesting view on a negative term. I recall once of those ‘selfish’ incidents in high school, where I majored in art and English. In one particular class, I was so bored as I stared out of a window, I pulled out my sketch book and began drawing.

My teacher’s exclamations roused me as she reached for my pad. After the encounter, I slumped in my seat, apprehensive about the after-school meeting. Peeping into the classroom, I found her engrossed in the drawing I created: a pair of daydreaming teenaged aliens staring out the window of their classroom.

Her comment? “You definitely don’t see the same things we see when you look out the window, do you!” My sketch book was returned and I escaped with a warning, along with a promise to keep her updated on the exploits of my teen aliens.

I admit to extended stays in the fantasyland Ms. Dickens mentioned earlier. I’ve delighted in directing the ‘products of my head’ as I’ve created radio drama scripts, articles, the (very) occasional poem, short stories, and the like.

Visits to this enchanted place will continue as I grow in my craft. I guess I could be considered a cop-out, and I think I’m okay with that.

What about you? Do you think writing is a cop-out? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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