I’m reading a novel right now, and one of the characters featured is the author H.G. Wells. Since it is fiction, I don’t know if the following is true, but the book said that H.G. Wells was a writer who hated writing but who liked to have written.
I was thinking how sad that is. But I suppose people do that sort of thing all the time, an exercise in delayed gratification. I know a ton of people who hate exercise but liked to have exercised. Actually, I am the same way with travel. I don’t particularly love it, but I liked to have done it.
I love it. I love sitting down and opening up my document. I love thinking of an objective and then stategizing the best way to achieve it. I love landing on that perfect “lightning” word.
Don’t get me wrong. It is hard. Writing is an arduous process, difficult, sometimes painful. It is not always exciting. The rush and thrill of freewriting last perhaps a few months before you find yourself settling into the nitpicking task of editing. It comes with criticism, difficult to swallow and frustrating as hell. Your characters take on lives of their own, and they become as impossible to steer as headstrong toddlers. You write yourself into a dark corner and have no idea how to find the way out of it. You cry. Sometimes you write brilliant, lyrical prose that everyone in your writing group hates and makes you cut. You have to “kill your darlings” left and right. It hurts your heart.
But I love it. I love that whole process, painful and heartbreaking as it may be. There is such true joy in the act of creation. It is an adventure, a battle of wills against your characters (and sometimes yourself), and there is nothing I enjoy so much as returning night after night to my manuscript, trying to shape something lovely out of blank pages.
I love the process just as much as the product. The journey is a joy.