I must really love writing. It’s what I do, after all. It’s what I’m always going on about, here on this blog. And I’ve written, how many books now? We’re well into double figures. Which should all go to prove that I must really love writing.
And I do. I honestly do really love writing. But in a funny kind of way it’s a bit more complicated than that.
When I’m doing it, I’m not always so sure that I do love writing. There are those moments when I’m staring at a blank screen until I feel like my eyes will pop out, begging for some kind of inspiration to hit me from out of the blue. There are also those moments when I’ve just rewritten a sentence for the twenty-fifth time and it’s still no better than the first time I wrote it. Not to mention those moments when after I’ve actually had a productive session and I’ve managed to fill several pages with words, I suddenly realise I’ve been following the wrong track completely and everything I’ve just produced will need to be rewritten from scratch.
When I look at things that way, writing doesn’t seem to be so fun at all. It seems to be more than a little of a pain in the neck. At moments like those, I do start to wonder why I do it in the first place. I actually begin to question whether I really do love writing.
But that never stops me. I keep pushing on and pushing on. Past the blocks and past the doubts. Past the frustrations and the strain they place on my brain. Why do I do this? Why do I keep putting myself through this torture? I’ll tell you why.
Because, at some point, there’s a moment when it all comes together. There’s that time when I can look back on what I’ve written and see the value in it. I can recognise all the work I’ve put into it, and see that I’ve actually created something that’s not too bad.
It’s those moments when I remember why I love writing. When I can read what I’ve written and enjoy it for what it is. When I can see how the original kernel of an idea has been fully fleshed out into a living, breathing story. Sure, it’s never perfect. I can probably find a bunch of things I would do differently if I had the chance, but why worry about that? It’s an amazing sense of achievement and satisfaction that makes all of the hard work feel worthwhile.
So maybe what I should say is not ‘I love writing’ but ‘I love having written.’
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