Last week I admitted something terrible to my critique partner. I said, “I don’t know if I like writing so much as I like having written.” Terrified she’d scoff at my remark, I awaited her reply. Two minutes later, Gmail showed a +1 next to my inbox. Inside her email was instant relief: “Oh, I hate writing,” she admitted. “Whenever I write a story, I just want to get it over with. The fun part is coming up with the ideas.”
I once read an article in a writing magazine that stated, “True writers love to write, not read what they wrote.”
Today I call bullshit.
I seriously doubt every marathon runner wakes up thrilled to jog in place for twelve miles. Or that parents want to spend every moment with their children. Or that the ingenious advertising executive is biting at the bit to meet with a client at 7:00 a.m. But they do it every day because something is driving them. Doesn’t discipline count for anything?
At least half the days, writing feels like a job. But, you know what, I get off my ass and do it anyway. Probably because I’m in love with the end product—not words on a page, but a book. I adore books, lust after them. I’d like to spread a hundred books across my bed and loll around in them all day, every day.
And, yes, maybe I’d like a few of the books I make love to, to be some of my own.
Even if I did hate writing them.