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I was talking to another writer a couple weeks ago, and they launched into a diatribe that I hear far too often:
- “Ugh, I have to start that new writing project, I hate that. Writing is the worst thing in the world, it makes me absolutely miserable. But, we all have to do it, right?”
No. No, person-who-identifies-themselves-as-a-writer-but-hates-writing.
We don’t all have to do it.
Honestly, I’m never really sure what to say to this.
On one hand, I get where some people are coming from when they say it. Writing is hard. Hitting deadlines is hard. Coming up with ideas and attempting to share them in any sort of cohesive and competent manner is hard. Sitting your ass in a chair to vomit up the shittiest first draft you’ve ever written, until the next shitty first draft you’ll have to write all over again, is hard.
Things that are hard are not always the “most fun.”
(She said while working at the office on a Sunday to try to get her newsletter out on the weekend, even if it was almost 3pm.)
So, sure. We all are human and trying to connect and commiserate with each other. When you find another writer out there, it’s like collecting your herd of unicorn friends, that will understand your own special and unique struggles. While the rest of the world pulls their “Oh, it must be nice, to work from home all day in your pajamas, wish I could do that” snarls, you have someone you can text and say “But they don’t understand…having to think is legit the worst thing ever to happen to a person, ever, in the history of humanity!”
But then there’s the other, I’m hoping smaller, group of people venting this frustration.
They are the ones to whom I have no idea what to reply.
I write because my brain is a swirling mass of conversations and imaginations and short stories and essays and information and and and and and (I’ve told you before, it’s a weird place up there!) — and writing is how I made small semblances of sense in the chaotic cacophony.
If I were an artist, I might need to paint it out. If I were an outgoing personality who loved talking to (at) people, I might set up a podcast or a video. If I were a person who needed to looks at statistics and data and the maths behind theories to come to a conclusion, I might embrace the hell out of being an accountant or actuary.
It probably seems a bit odd to be reading this on a blog of a writer, writing to people who are interested in becoming better writers. Which, in my humble opinion, in one of the most noble pursuits a person can undertake. (Ok, my humble and totally biased opinion!)
What I’m saying instead is that if you hate hate HATE and loathe the ideation, research, prep, drafting, revising (and revising and revising and revising and…), and publishing of writing, then why?
Why on all of the good green Earth would you spend your time forcing yourself to do it?
There are sooooo many ways to share your thoughts with others – find the one you love and run with it.
It won’t always be easy, and some days the thing you love will be the thing that causes you the most angst and suffering.
If that thing is writing, then hi. Again. We’ll get through this together.
I’m always so happy to have you here.
If something else is your thing, but you like challenging yourself with new things that you can kinda tolerate, like brussels sprouts and writing short essays for online content, that’s great as well.
But seriously. If you can’t stand having to make yourself write, then don’t. Just don’t.
Life is far too short to consistently and constantly be doing things that make you miserable.