I’ve always liked the idea of being a hack.
Some folks think of the term as being derogatory – as in “He is such a cheap brainless hack. Why doesn’t he write ad copy, or political speeches, or graffiti in public washrooms?”
According to Wikipedia – (the god-site of all useful, useless and often time dubious knowledge) – a HACK WRITER is a term used to refer to a writer who is paid to write low-quality, rushed articles or books “to order”, often with a short deadline.
Or, in the case of a fiction writer, the term is used to describe writers who are paid to churn out sensational, lower-quality “pulp” fiction such as true crime novels or bodice-ripping paperbacks. So-called “hack writers” are usually paid by the number of words in their book or article; as a result, hack writing has a reputation for quantity taking precedence over quality.
Me, I think about those midnight gypsy cab-drivers. Those fellows driving around the city in vehicles that have begun to resemble some sort of odd four-wheeled beetles – crawling from point A-for-Anywhere to B-is-for-Better-Get-Out-Here.
To my mind driving a hack is nothing more than another way of putting a bit of bread and beer on the table.
There is nothing wrong with that.
Another way to think about the word “hack” is thinking about the lumberjacks of old, felling mighty trees.
Like this guy!
(or maybe not…)
If you would like to read a bit more on this topic why don’t you check out indie-writer Russell Blake’s blog entry THE PHILOSOPHY OF BEING A HACK!
yours in storytelling,