Pencils down, and keyboards rise up

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It’s a very strange confluence of writer’s energy we see this month. In a few days at most, 12,000 of the best writers for the screen, TV and movies, are going on strike. Pencils Down is their rally cry. It’s been almost 20 years since the last prolonged strike by writers. All they want is another 4 cents of residual money for every DVD sold.

They won’t be working by the start of the week. If you watch TV, you will lose your shows for awhile, maybe forever if it’s a long strike. The talented stuff, the shows you want to watch because HBO can be the new novel, those are going on strike.

There’s a wonderful, powerful discussion of the strike on the Web site of WGA writer John August.

At the same time, thousands more writers are picking up pens and lighting up keyboards in National Novel Writing Month. Their goal is to finish writing 50,000 words of a novel by the end of November. These are fledgling writers, for the most part, or some who are polished but just stuck and want to blow out the lead from their minds’ engines.

I’m not sure if NaNoWriMo ever took place alongside a Writer’s Guild strike. But it’s strange times indeed. And if you are writing for print, take a little refuge that your business aspirations for your work don’t require a union membership. Not yet, anyway, although many of the most successful writers are members of the Authors Guild.

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