A few days ago I talked writing with a friend, and part of the conversation has stuck with me. I keep thinking about it because honestly, my day job is not going too well this week. It makes me yearn for fun writing I actually like, which makes me think about how hard work is. And how hard it is to stay sane amidst it all. Here’s a snippet of the conversation (I'm the italics):
Sigh. Thinking about agents makes me nervous for querying.
Querying sucks…but you can do it!
Haha there is no “can”. Only “are required to”
Well…yeah, there is that.
Why do we do this to ourselves again?
We would die if we didn’t.
All right, so writers wouldn’t actually die if they didn’t write or query agents. I was being melodramatic. But I do think that if writers don’t write, or if painters don’t paint, etc., we lose a part of ourselves.
Sometimes we creatives need to remind ourselves just WHY we do what we do. Why, in the name of all that is holy, do we drive ourselves crazy trying to create something everyone in the world wants? Why do we keep toiling even through depressive funks, discouragement from the trolls, and even discouragement from people close to us? It’s enough to make us pack up shop and call it quits forever.
I needed to be reminded why I do this to myself. Amusingly enough, just hours after the above conversation, someone else asked why I love writing. It took me a solid two seconds to come up with an answer:
It’s like tapping into a soul charger that makes me excited about everything else in life. It’s pure creation and I can do anything and learn to become just about anyone…and I’m addicted to stories.
My response is melodramatic* and completely true. I never feel as comfortable or as right-with-the-world as I do when I’ve written something good**. I love the research it takes to put together a believable story. It’s work. It’s painful work, but it’s fulfilling, too.
Why do you do what you do?
Michelle has been very philosophical and melodramatic this week, which might explain why she suddenly wants to spend all her time writing angsty poetry and baking sugar cookies.
*Apparently I get really melodramatic where it comes to writing. I wanted to think of a synonym but it’s such a perfect word I kept using it.