The Letter “A”

Back when I was writing comics, I discovered, to my chagrin, that the letter “A”  looks exactly the same, regardless of who types it. Brilliant writers, hack writers, non-writers: the letter “A” looks precisely the same. I also discovered that people who lack this particular gift of expression also lack much respect for it. Respect, I’ve found, comes in two distinct flavors: (a) the phony respect we offer up to people who pay us and (b) the more difficult kind of respect we show for things that exist in a realm beyond our own ability to necessarily comprehend. I have enormous respect for, say, pro golfers and people who paint landscapes. I understand neither discipline. I can be walked out to the water’s edge, beyond which I will happily defer to the experts in these fields. When I fly to New York on business, for example, I usually let the pilot fly the plane. I don’t come up there into the cockpit and start flipping switches.

With writing, though, everybody can type the letter “A.” And, rather than me falling in love with my own words, it is usually the client who does that. Why? Because they are usually not professional writers. They sell hair spray and dental floss. Which is not to put down people who sell hair spray and dental floss but to point out there is a reason people hire professionals. Hiring a professional and then interfering with their efforts to make you richer than you already are is just stupid. I don’t understand people who continue walking past the water’s edge until their hat floats.

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