Why I Love Writing

I’ve been thinking lately about editing—about how difficult it is to edit one’s own writing—mostly because both of my current main projects are in the editing phase.

In the writing stage, I told myself to keep writing so that I would have a finished draft. And now that I’m done drafting, I tell myself to keep editing so I can finish these projects and begin drafting a new project. Somewhere in this thought process I realized that I don’t like writing: I don’t like drafting, I don’t like editing, I don’t like rewriting, and I don’t like more editing.

And this really surprised me. After all, I’ve wanted to be a writer for a long time, and I’ve been writing for quite some time too.

All this got me wondering what I actually like about writing. Why do/did I want to be a writer in the first place? Why do I keep writing?

Because, don’t get me wrong, I’m not planning on stopping writing anytime soon. I dread it, but I still do it. Which, upon reflection, seems odd.

Here’s the thing. Writing is hard. There’s something so incredibly difficult about placing these squiggles that we call alpha-numeric characters in an order that conveys an intended, specific meaning.

And when you look at it like that, of course writing is hard! But anybody who writes could have told you that.

This combined with the fact that people are lazy is why most people don’t like writing and why most people don’t write. If it was easy, we’d all be doing it.

For me, writing is about the challenge. I simultaneously dread and enjoy the difficulty of translating a story from an idea to words. At one point, I knew this, but I had forgotten and needed a reminder.

So I don’t like writing. But I also love it. And what I sometimes don’t like about writing is also what makes me love writing.

What motivates me to write then?

That’s a tricky question. And I have two blog posts about it.

But beyond that, at the end of the day, there’s nothing I’d rather be doing than writing. Writing always gives me a new challenge where there is no such thing as perfect. And this drives me completely crazy. But I also love it.

Of course, there’s also the thrill that I get from a good story. And there’s that wonderful feeling of experiencing the believable impossible.

Anne Lamott has a great quote from a friend of hers in Bird by Bird. “‘It’s not like you don’t have a choice, because you do—you can either type or kill yourself.’”

And sometimes that’s what it takes to get myself writing. There’s nothing I’d rather be doing. Which is both a bleak and exciting thought. But mostly exciting.

So. I sit. I write.

Because what else am I going to do?

-Alex

Share this with your friends who also love writing…and the ones who don’t like writing.  

And let me know if you like this more conversational type of post. I’m experimenting with different types of blog posts and am open to suggestions.

5 thoughts on “Why I Love Writing

  1. I too have learned that I don’t really like the entire writing process. I just enjoy having written, as they say. No idea why I keep doing it though. I’m a masochist like that. Wishing you all the best with your WIPs! I’m currently in the editing phase for two pieces of work as well, so I totally get what you’re going through. Thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

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