I’m Working Here

This summer I had the good fortune to meet author James Duffy. Most recently, he wrote this fascinating book about the Pacific theater in World War II:

He’s written more books than I ever will, and he’s done so while working a full-time job. James frequently turned down speaking engagements because he didn’t have the time. He was always working, whether at his day job or nights and weekends at his writing.

Now, whenever I hear the phrase “I’m working here,” I think about the life of a writer. We’re always working. The day job pays the bills. The writing, well, it both keeps us sane and drives us crazy.

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Right now, it’s keeping me sane. I’m doing what I think of as preliminary writing: working on a book proposal. Still, it’s writing and it’s history. It keeps my mind off the great swirl of contemporary politics. As a historian, I’m more comfortable dealing with events that happened in the past. For now, I keep the radio and the television turned off and keep my eyes and fingertips on the keyboard. I’m working here.

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