What Working in the Meat Department Taught Me About Writing

Woo a little bit long winded there huh? For you long-time readers of The Gray Pen, you’ll probably feel a sense of nostalgia as this post may remind you of this post “What Zombies Taught me About Writing” (by the way, that is one of the most viewed posts on this blog, boom!). I was inspired to write this post by my meat manager who broke down the basics to me about our sudden business boom in the meat department. I was transferred from being a cashier to a meat clerk almost two years ago and we did little business; though now we do so much business we’re hitting over $10k dollar days (that’s big for a small town).1

1. “It doesn’t Sell too good in the Back” 

Look at that Ugly Mug

Sometimes we ask if we should pack out a certain item in the case. The general answer is always “it doesn’t sell too good in the backroom”; this is a perfect adage for writing. Too often I hear writers pulling the ol’ J.D. Salinger approach and writing fantastic stories and hiding them in their rooms. No! Once something is written and after the ‘leave alone’ period, you should attack the damn thing, edit it, and ship it out. Why waste a gift when you can share it with others?

2. If You Create it-they will Come’

Okay, I don’t want to go all “Field of Dreams” on you, but we all know every blogger’s favorite cliche” “Content is Key!”. It’s true. In our little meat department all we do is supply good quality meat with great cuts and wait for people to come. We have niches of people who like our Rib-Eyes or love our Petites- it’s kind of like this blog. I have certain readers who love my informative posts, while others prefer my more storytelling anecdotes, and even others just like the rare poem or story. If you write well or blog well- big things can come.

3. Everyone Gets a bit bloody

When I was first hired in the meat department I was naive to the aspects of fresh meat. After my first shift, I left our little department covered from head to toe in blood and guts. Writing is a sweet little conflict between writer and the written word and Stephen King calls this ‘writing with the door closed’. However, once you open your door the true strife begins. Readers, family, friends, and even critics (eep!) can question your craft. They can even spot errors you missed or plot holes! What? I know. The second battle is a war of self-control. Critics may tear you to shreds, but they’re only there to perfect your work. Expect to leave bloody. You’ll get used to it in time.


Life is one big journey of enlightenment and I am enjoying soaking it all in.




About Damian Rucci

D.F. Rucci is a writer, blogger, and a musician from a small town in New Jersey. View all posts by Damian Rucci

2 responses to “What Working in the Meat Department Taught Me About Writing

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