Claim Your Subject

My sister once asked me, “What writing subject do you claim as your own?”

Without hesitating, I answered, “Work.”

Although I enjoy writing on a number of subjects, I probably get the most pleasure and satisfaction from writing about work.

I’m fascinated by the claims our jobs make on us, the crowds they place us in, the behavior they force on and from us, and the madnesses, variously disguised, that we bring to work with us.

I’ve written and published about aspects of my life in higher ed, where I was part of that army of administrators who tend to be ignored by fiction and nonfiction writers alike. Those authors overwhelmingly have focused on faculty and students, while leaving the busy herds of administrators largely uninvestigated and unexposed.

Here’s a link to the first of my essays about working in a college, published by the Chronicle of Higher Education. You can see the rest of these personal essays by searching the Chronicle site for Lauren Moore and for Marie Pelangy (two pseudonyms I used).

I discussed being overworked in an essay in, under the pseudonym Barbara Mainwaring.

Do you gravitate toward a particular subject that inspires you and engages others?

Twitter: @lynettebenton

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2 thoughts on “Claim Your Subject

  1. Because of the vast number of letters, diaries, photos, and family memorabilia I have inherited, I’m drawn to share what we an all learn from one family’s past, as recorded, that spans the last century. It is history brought to life. I found a good hook connecting my uncle’s WWII service with the service of our troops in Iraq — and got a story published. So I’m trying to figure out ways to share it, including on my blog. I like gardening, so I’ve tried to come up with good hooks and have pitched them to several gardening magazines. Travel writing is tough, but with the right query, I managed to get a story picked up on fall travel. It’s finding the right publication, the right hook, and the perseverance to keep going after rejections. I need to get on the stick again!

  2. You’re doing all the right things, Linda, so I know you’ll keep getting published. I’m making a note to myself to visit your site, since I teach a number of genealogists in my creative writing classes. They’d probably like to see your work.

    Polish and Publish is on its way to you. Thanks so much for commenting.

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