~Today’s blog comes from Natalie Duvall!~
There seems to be a misconception about writers. People seem to think that we enjoy writing. I can’t speak for all scribes, but I can speak for myself and for many that I know when I say this: writers hate writing.
There’s only one time during the writing process that I enjoy the hobby/profession. That time is when I’ve just thought of a story and write the first couple pages. I enjoy that time, because it’s the moment when I can delude myself into thinking what I’m writing is great, is brilliant, and will make perfect sense in one large well-crafted tome.
All the rest of the time, though, writing sucks. The middle is the worst. That’s when you’re far enough into the story that you realize the brilliant idea you initially had really was just that – an idea. It’s tough to take an idea and turn it into 90,000 words. It’s like a sculptor trying to create Venus de Milo out of one lump of clay.
A lot of writers give up at this point because writing stinks so much. There’s nothing wrong with that, either. Heck, maybe those writers are the smart ones. Because it sure is stupid to keep toiling away on something that you hate doing, something that probably won’t sell (let’s be honest, most books don’t sell).
Some of you writers out there might disagree with me. You might claim you love writing. Liars. If you loved writing, you’d do it ALL THE TIME. I love ice cream. I always, always find time to eat it, sometimes to the detriment of other things in my life (like my waistline). I also love reading. Sometimes I’ll stay up so late that I can only get a few hours of sleep before having to go to work because I’m enjoying a book so much. I’ll carry a book with me to parties and restaurants, just so I can keep reading.
When you love doing something, you make the time to do it. In fact, you stop doing other things so you can keep doing it. How many writers do that? How many cut short a dinner with friends because they’re just so darn eager to get back to typing? That’s what I thought. Writers just don’t like writing.
So why do we do it? I wish I could answer that. It’s a question that’s plagued me for a while. Maybe I do it because I know I can. Not many people can say they’ve written a book the whole way through. I can say I’ve written three, with another one halfway done. Do I write because I want to be as loved and revered as Stephen King, Nora Roberts, JK Rowling? Possibly. I might even do it because I think I have good stories that I want you to hear. I’m not really sure, but I know I don’t do it because I want to.
Perhaps it’s a sickness. I would hazard that it is. Why would I continue to do something I dislike, sacrificing time I could be doing something else? Can you tell me?