Sunday, 17 April 2016

A dirty little secret

Anyone want to hear a confession?


Just sometimes.

I (and probably all other writers) loathe writing.

There. I said it. The cliched image of the writer joyfully hammering away on a laptop in Starbucks while occasionally getting a flash of inspiration from an overheard witty comment, and then emailing their agent the book without needing to edit the fucking thing to within an inch of its life is just that - a big, fat cliche with close to zero basis in reality.

A while back, one of my writer friends wrote a blog post in which he said he loves having written, loves the finished result but hates the actual process. It's very easy to get behind that unless, and I mean this with the best will in the world, you're not a writer or in a relationship with one. Most of the time, writers do like what we do. Otherwise, why would we do it? For the money? Haha. Don't make me laugh. No. We do it for the finished result of getting that tale or character in our heads down on paper and hopefully having found a way of saying what we wanted to months or years before.

It is, of course, self-pitying wank of the highest order for me to moan about writing. I don't have to do it. The agent I haven't got isn't getting stroppy emails and phone calls from publishers demanding my next masterpiece by tomorrow or they'll send the boys round to break my thumbs (this is how publishing works). Very few people would give a monkey's if I never wrote again, but that isn't why I keep going and haven't stopped since writing my first book all the way back in 1998 - 99. Even when I want to tell the words to fuck off and have to face getting in from work to sit in front of this computer to work on a book that nobody in the world might ever read and I loathe the process of writing anything, I keep going.

Because that's how it's done sometimes. Hate the writing, love the story.

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