A friend sent me a pie chart (shown above) that divides up how writers spend their time. It made me laugh because most writers I know do spend a lot of time procrastinating, wasting time, pretending to be doing things that will help their writing when in fact they are resisting doing the work. I certainly fit in that category, some of the time.
After laughing, I looked at the chart again and thought about how it really is for me and what the truth in the pie chart means in terms of my life as a writer. What I realized is that despite all of the avoidance games I play, I am a writer because I get a lot of joy out of writing.
The joy I’m talking about has nothing to do with audience (although it’s always nice to have other people appreciate/enjoy your work). The joy I’m talking about is the way I feel when I am writing. My ego disappears and I produce words and sentences that develop as they flow out of me. People talk about their characters speaking to them when they write, but I feel like it goes beyond characters. When I write, I am digging deep into a source that is wiser and more knowledgable than I am. I don’t know how that happens, but ideas and philosophies and concepts come out that I’m fairly sure have never passed through my thinking mind before.
Writing is a hard game to play: writers struggle, feel inadequate, procrastinate and often don’t get paid much and the pay usually comes years after the work has been done. Right now, I am working toward publishing a novel and submitting my essays to publications. If I didn’t love everything about writing, if I only cared about the world reading what I produce, I’m not sure I would continue along this path.
But I do love what I do. And that counts for something.
No. It counts for everything.
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