Why Do You Do It If You Hate It?

Most of the time I love writing. It’s a passion, it’s a hobby, it’s an art, it’s a job, whichever way you cut it, I love doing it. There’s just something about taking those stories inside my head and creating them on paper, watching them unfold, unwrapping the mysteries, and see them grow that makes me happy. Simple as that: it makes me happy. I like doing it, as I do many other things, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

At the same time, sometimes I absolutely hate it. I was called out recently on Twitter for basically “complaining”, from a person who asked me something along the title of this post: “Why even bother if you hate it?” This person allegedly loved every single aspect of writing, never found it stressful or tedious and apparently thought I complained.

And you know what? That’s great. Well done to you, if you never dislike a single aspect of creative writing. That’s impressive. Me, I hate parts of almost everything I do. I love my job and my career (which isn’t writing), don’t get me wrong, but sometimes I dread going to it, and I just can’t stand it some days. I hate going to the gym, even though I do it nearly every single day and wouldn’t have it any other way. I hate a lot of stuff, some of the time. That’s not going to stop me from doing it, or from loving it, most of the time.

I feel like writing is something that’s particularly easy to hate. It’s emotional, it’s raw, it’s so much of you. At the same time, it can be difficult. It can be frightening, especially when it comes to putting it out there. It can be absolutely nerve-wracking. So yeah, I definitely hate writing sometimes. I hate having to wrap my head around it, I hate when I feel like it isn’t going the way I want to, and it might discourage me to think of what this is going to be in the future. But that’s not going to stop me from loving it at the same time.

I’d never think that anyone who said they disliked being a writer, didn’t know what they were doing. In fact, the exact opposite is probably true. You really know the truth of it, if you know how painful it can be. And if you keep going even then, well, then you’re definitely a hell of a writer.

One thought on “Why Do You Do It If You Hate It?

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  1. People who LOVE every part of writing are dilettantes.

    To write well there has to be blood on the page. You must at least once think your reach has so far exceeded your grasp you cannot possibly tell your story. You must be so obsessed that when editing you never want to publish because you know, you *know,* if you read this thing you almost hate one more time you will find some dreadfully prosaic piece of shit sentence or graph you can’t possibly ask people to pay to read.

    Hating it is humility.

    There’s nothing better for a writer than writing. Writing when it goes well, when you’ve done something and can’t believe you wrote it, is better than all other things.

    You keep complaining, my brother. No one whines more than I do. Except all the writers better than I am.

    Liked by 1 person

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