"Writing is easy. You just open a vein and bleed."
--Original Speaker Unknown, possibly sports columnist Red Smith
The above sentiment, even though it's not clear who first said it, is often referenced by writers about their work. While it may often be meant at least partially tongue-in-cheek, there must be at least some sense of connection with the figurative meaning of the words (one would hope not with the literal meaning...) for it to have been repeated so many times through the decades.
Honestly, though, this isn't a sentiment that really rings true to me. Lots of times, especially when I'm doing a first draft or when I'm getting to the point where I think a story reads the way I want it to read, I find it to be an exciting, enjoyable process. Some days, it's even sort of an escape from less pleasant parts of my life. Now, that's not to say that there aren't some days when I find it hard to get words down on the page, but that's almost always due to distractions or something else which diverts my focus away from my work. And, yes, there are some aspects of revising, especially for longer works, that I find tedious and difficult to get my hands around still. But even then there's that light at the end of the tunnel, that satisfaction when I make changes that feel right to me.
Some people say that they write because they have to write; that the stories inside them need to come out. That's definitely not the case for me. I could stop writing easily -- maybe too easily if past history is any guide -- and only feel occasional regret or disappointment that I hadn't kept up with it. But I don't want to do that, I want to press on and reach some of the larger writing goals I have for my life. And, to be fair, if I didn't make a concerted effort at some of those goals, then I probably would feel more serious regrets. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow...
The last couple of weeks, when I've had the energy, writing has been an escape. When I haven't had the energy, I've still made a point of putting in some time on it every day, to keep up momentum. Because, as I wrote in one of my first blog posts, writing begets writing and not writing begets not writing. And I know that I want to keep writing, because lots of days it feels pretty darn good.
How does writing feel for you? What are your favorite parts and your least favorite parts?