Writing is frustrating, difficult and maddening. Writers are frustrating, difficult and maddening. I think our reputation as mad and/or drunks is well deserved.
But we keep at it, why?
No matter how difficult the work, how awkward and unmanageable the manuscript or how awful the characters are or how badly behaved the sentences are: I am happy because I have a book to work on. I am happy because I am involved in a creative project.
We all long to create meaning. Working on a book, even thinking about a book gives my daily life meaning. Writing may not deliver huge meaning, not famous meaning, not Mother Theresa meaning, not an enormous Half Dome of meaning, but meaning none the less.
Your creative work, on any scale, is contributing to the meaning of your day. Did you create? Then the day was a success. Did you create first thing in the morning before the chaos of the day? Did you finish a frustrating day with a short poem?
That’s the win.
It may seem that writing and creating art is like just a single pebble. You think “This is so small that it disappears when I toss it into the Literary Lake.”
But if we all toss in our pebbles, we will eventually raise an independent island all our own – and change the geography of that lake forever.
And that means something.
That’s why we all should keep writing.
Watch for our upcoming book, Don’t Write Like We Talk – What we learned after four years of interviewing Authors and Agents, Publishers and Poets. From the Newbie Writers Podcast, Damien Boath and Catharine Bramkamp