Revenge of the Plumber

So last night I’m sitting out on the front stoop (god help me, I’m becoming a stoop guy), reading Charles Bukowski’s The Captain Is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship, and I come across this: “The world can live much easier without writing than without plumbing.”

Again the mysterious connection between writing and plumbing!

I’ve written about this before in “Why We Write” and “Again, the Plumber.” Especially when people start debating “what makes one a writer” is it someone who writes every day, or every other day, or once a week, or only when their muse moves them? I can’t help it, I think about it in terms of plumbing. I giggle at the prospect of a plumber waving his hands in front of him and shaking his head no, saying, “Oh, I don’t feel like unstopping that toilet today. Maybe tomorrow… but only if I feel really motivated to unstop a toilet.” Or, “I’m sorry, but I really need a certain amount of downtime to allow myself to get re-inspired before I snake another drain.” And, “Well, I installed a faucet and sink once, about five years ago, but, yeah, I’m a plumber.”

“Planning to write is not writing. Outlining, researching, talking to people about what you’re doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing.”

So sayeth E.L. Doctorow*, and I agreeth with him.

*Not a plumber.

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