Daily Archives: April 1, 2009

Writing for a living: a joy or a chore?

Every so often, I get into a rut and wonder if it’s all worth it. Like today, where editing is almost as painful as going to the dentist. So I went back to an article I’d found in the Guardian at the beginning of March and reread what Al Kennedy said about the joy of writing:

The joy of writing for a living is that you get to do it all the time. The misery is that you have to, whether you’re in the mood or not. I wouldn’t be the first writer to point out that doing something so deeply personal does become less jolly when you have to keep on at it, day after cash-generating day. To use a not ridiculous analogy: Sex = nice thing. Sex For Cash = probably less fun, perhaps morally uncomfy and psychologically unwise. Sitting alone in a room for hours while essentially talking in your head about people you made up earlier and then writing it down for no one you know does have many aspects which are not inherently fulfilling. Then again, making something out of nothing, overturning the laws of time and space, building something for strangers just because you think they might like it and hours of absence from self – that’s fantastic. And then it’s over, which is even better. I’m with RLStevenson – having written – that’s the good bit.

It’s the “making something out of nothing, overturning the laws of time and space, building something for strangers just because you think they might like it” that make it worthwhile for me. It’s good to remember that once in a while.

To read more opinions about writing, here’s the Guardian article:Writing for a living: a joy or a chore?: nine authors give their views

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