Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Writing - How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count The Ways ...

Have you ever noticed how much we writers love to talk about how hard it is to write? How much space in so many blogs and books is devoted to the tricky and hair-pulling things that go hand in hand with writing and the writing life? It's a lot, I tell you. From craft to voice to the psychological games we must play to force out those words; from the sting of critiques to the excruciating pain that is composing the perfect query letter; the nerve-wracking tension of being on submission, the strike to the heart that is opening that package and seeing the ocean of red ink covering your edited manuscript ...

This devotion to shining a light on the hard stuff is all good, by the way. Not talking about how tough we find these things would be much worse. We need to be honest so we know we're not alone, and to remind us that whatever we're going through is entirely normal. Those who do keep quiet - or worse, pretend writing is a complete breeze - remind me of those parents you sometimes come across, the ones who fervently insist, all glassy-eyed and in-your-face, that they positively revel in EVERY single aspect of parenthood - be it cleaning up vomit or sleep deprivation or the tantrums or the complete lack of a life of one's own -  and not only that, they enjoy it EVERY single second of every one of their blissful, child-centred, days. Yeah. Right. Either they're lying or they're taking some damn good medication. And the same goes for writing. If you can't be honest and admit that sometimes, things are just darn hard, you'll never find a way to deal with them.


Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of what we love about writing and being a writer. To balance the scales, and to keep in mind on those dark days when we wonder what brand of insanity prompted us to think we could write anything more than a grocery list. Things like this:-

I love getting lost in worlds all of my own creation. I love dreaming up characters and letting them loose in these worlds. And I really love seeing what happens next.

I love the mental stimulation and challenge that writing brings, from pondering the exact right word to describe a particular shade of blue, to coming up with plot twists and reversals that (hopefully!) no one will see coming.

I love it when someone tells me they enjoyed something I wrote.

I love that writing allows me to indulge in some serious solitude.

I love imagining my book on a shelf one day.

I love that writing has allowed me to connect with so many like-minded people in this world, especially the ladies with whom I blog.

But most of all, I simply love telling stories.

So. My reasons why I love writing.

What are yours?


  1. Just add my name to your list, Rachel. ; ) Lovely post that's fits the holiday mood.

  2. Lovely, Rachel. This is also very timely for us writers in America because tomorrow is Thanksgiving. What better time to consider what we're grateful for when it comes to our writing?

  3. I'll add my name to the list! I love having my imagination give me new ideas, and having all these characters follow me around :-)