Recently, a friend sent me an article called I’m Not a Writer.
Don’t ask me how the guy wrote the article if he’s not a writer.
Summed up, the author says that he’s never felt compelled to write and if he never wrote another word again, he’s be just fine with that.
And yet, he still wrote this article. He has articles and whatnot published and some self-published books. This guy wants to share ideas, but writing itself is not something he enjoys.
Reader-peeps, this scared the crap out of me when I read it. Especially when I read the part about how he could never write again and he’d be okay with that.
I have been there. I have wondered things like “do I even want to write? would I be happy if I did something else and never wrote again?” This is not to say that I wouldn’t still be sharing ideas in some medium, but Bob-darnit, peeps, writing novels is HARD. I used to turn out a novel at least once a year. They weren’t “good”, per se, but they were full stories and I adored them and loved writing them.
I haven’t finished a novel since October 2016. I feel like I’ve said this before here on this blog. If I did, I probably also said that this scares me. I feel like something in my writerly brain broke and it was the part that allowed me to think of a story I loved enough and had enough belief in to finish.
I have had thoughts about not writing anymore. To focus my creative energy elsewhere. Somewhere besides books.
But something doesn’t feel right when I don’t write.
There’s a quote that talks about enjoying having written more than the actual writing. Creating and sharing ideas is compulsion, writing is just the medium.
But I don’t think that’s true for me.
I’m happiest when the words are going down on paper at 1,000,000 words a minute and when I’m done and have managed to write 2 or 3k in a day, I’m drunk on storytelling. The creation of real story and life literally puts me in a bit of a daze and I can’t write any more that day but I am kind of just wandering around the house feeling accomplished and a bit delirious.
I’m happiest when I see the thing I have created, even if it’s a first draft, and it is done and it is beautiful and it is mine. It has so much potential to become something great and to be loved by people who aren’t me.
I am just as happy during the journey as I am when I get to the destination. When I’m done, I feel accomplished, but I’m also almost immediately looking for my next project.
Do I have the urge to get words on paper? Occasionally. Do I usually have to make myself get offline to get started and whine through the first 100 or so words? You’d better believe it. But when I go back later, to edit or just read for fun, and I look at it and think “I wrote this?” or I print a page out and it feels like my words are tangible and I almost cry from it, that’s worth all the griping for 20 minutes as I make myself spit out 200 crap words. That’s worth all the writers block, the “help I don’t know what I’m supposed to write here!”, the tears, the sweat, the diet coke, the considering of asking friends to help, any and every doubt given through the process.
Writing is worth it. And I am going to keep writing until I am old and my plot bunny pen is completely empty. I doubt it will ever be completely empty, though.
And if other people don’t enjoy writing enough to do it all the time, fine. I do not shame you for it, I do not judge you for it.
Just don’t shame me for mine. I’m happy with my writing process.