Yesterday, CricketB asked, “Would you write if it didn’t make you feel good?”
And my answer is, many times, writing doesn’t feel good at all! But I do it. I do it because in many respects, I have no choice in the matter. My brain is telling stories all the time. My brain is creating people, situations, solutions, struggles and drama. It needs to story-tell.
I’ve written about that before, how if there’s anything that will fulfill you other than writing, it’s probably best to do that thing instead. There’s the frustration of living your own life when you want to be living your character’s life. There’s the feeling of futility sometimes when you have a heartbreakingly beautiful story you can’t sell to a decent market. There’s the struggle of rewriting, editing, seeking others’ opinions, sorting through those opinions, bettering your craft. And sometimes, no, it’s not the kind of thing that makes you feel good at all. Sometimes I’ll end an editing session feeling worse than when I started, convinced a piece is utter crap.
There are times when I only write in order to feed the word count ticker. And because I want to have a finished novel. Not because I’m enjoying the writing that day, but because at the end, I want to enjoy having written my story. I can’t enjoy reading it if I haven’t written it first. That’s pretty much the writer’s dilemma.
Do I keep going? Yes, because it’s my nature. It’s who I am. It’s my vocation.
(One of my vocations, that is. I’m also given that more familiar wife/mom vocation.)
Re-reading my work feels good. Trying to plot a story while appearing to be a normal human being does not always feel good. (Plotting while washing dishes, btw, feels awesome. Same for plotting while folding laundry or fixing a toilet.) But it’s all part of the same bundle.
I wouldn’t want not to be a writer. I’ve had time periods where I wasn’t a writer, and I hated myself and felt distant from God at those times. Returning to my stories felt like breathing again.
Does a writer’s life always feel good? No. Do I always keep going? Yes.
More answer than you wanted, Cricket?