At a meeting for wannabe-writers last year I heard a remarkable confession. “Actually I hate writing”, an established writer said. Gathering ideas, doing research, having work published, those things he all loved, but the actual writing process, he dreaded.
And it got even better. Apparently, a lot of colleagues are coping with the same problem. The capital issue is finding a good location, with as little distraction as possible, in order to actually get something on paper. One writer dragged his computer to the garage. Another one purchased a season ticket and rides around on trains until he’s finished for the day.
I didn’t know what I was hearing. Writing for me had always felt like a game. Kind of like filling in a sudoku. Yes, it takes some concentration, but you keep on doing it for that little tuft of excitement every time you solve another box.
But unfortunately I just wrote “had felt” and not “feels”. Today all of a sudden I realized I’m not really enjoying my writing anymore. No matter how much I have written, or whether it’s digestible or not, at the end of the day, I think: so much more to do. I used to get a kick out of every scene that works, every beautiful sentence, every word that has exactly that nuance I was looking for. But somewhere along the way my focus has shifted. I’ve started to think too much about the novels I have yet to write, and lost sight of the small victories.
So this is my good intention of the day: starting today, I am going to quit writing novels. I’m going back to just writing. And that novel, it’ll get finished, in time. Let me put it this way: I’m going to have more fun again.