Love/Hate Write

Posted by in Writing

To answer Jason Boog’s query over whether writers hate to write or love to write or what not, here is my answer on the subject:

I love to write. I love having written. I hate to write when my brain doesn’t work and when I end up writing drivel or I fail to challenge myself. But this is not endemic to the writing itself, but a rather ruthless castigatory impulse directed towards self. I don’t hate having written. I am a goal-oriented monkey and I can sometimes convince friends to throw bits of banana into my mouth; from this vantage point alone, I suppose I must love writing, even though writing is nowhere nearly as easy as it looks and there is that synaptic problem of mediocre prose sprouting forth like fungi on a white screen. There is clearly some sadistic part of me that likes to kill the fungi, slashing at it with blue pen or selecting text and nuking the site from orbit with one mighty push of the DELETE button. But when I write and there is nothing but fungi, I don’t necessarily hate the writing. Write better you bastard! Thoughts along those lines. I do sometimes hate the fact that fungi is all I’m good for, thus causing me to question whether there is a capable mind inside my thick skull (partial answer: there is, I suppose, but why dwell on it and become a smug megalomaniac when there’s a fascinating world of exciting people to contemplate!). Thus, how one answers this question of being a writer says a lot about the writer himself. Writing is work. It is sometimes difficult, sometimes easy, but it is not a painful process. Compare writing to working in an office or a maquiladora. Get some perspective, for Christ’s sake. Trying to figure out how to pay the rent is a painful process, but how one decides to do it or the degree of difficulty that one places in paying the rent is a matter of choice, depending upon how one’s interests run against the system that runs our world. But spare me this nonsense over whether you love or you hate writing and simply write and write the best prose you can with love and life attached to it.

Writers who don’t love writing are easy to spot. As for John August, it would seem to me that he does not love writing and that he has not loved writing ever since his fantastic screenplay, Go.

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