I saw a quote once that said “I don’t like writing. I like to have written.” Years ago, I didn’t agree with this statement. Writing was the best! Writing was amazing! Writing was fun! Why wouldn’t you like to write??
The longer I write, however, the more I see the statement’s point. The actual act of writing is – surprise? Work. It’s work, ladies and gentlemen, and there’s no getting around it. When I was younger and wrote nothing but short stories and the beginnings of books I had no idea how to finish, it was play. I was a child fooling around with crayons, drawing what I thought were Louvre-worthy masterpieces.
Now that I’m writing with the goal of finishing my books and publishing them, writing is a very different thing. It’s a project; something I set for myself. Oh, I love it, don’t misunderstand me. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t write. It’s just a different feeling now. Writing is a sort of magic, and as we all know, weilding magic means responsibility. I’m sure it would be fun to write whatever I felt like, to unleash the magic and watch it create and destroy on a whim, but I can’t do that. There are glorious moments in writing – writing endlessly in notebooks, getting to know the colorful characters that people your head, the moment when you turn on the music, settle down with coffee, and begin to bring your dreams to life. But writing with a purpose in mind gives an element of solemnity to the whole thing – no matter if you’re writing a comedy or a drama or a dark, dangerous story or a story about love – writing is a serious business. You’re responsible for what you put out into the world. You’re responsible for your characters, and for your readers. You’re responsible for worlds.
That’s why, as much as I do love writing, I love having written more.