Writers, especially snooty ones, often thump their chest and testify to all who will listen their all-consuming passion for the written word. Specifically, their written words. But I never quite believe them because, in case you haven’t heard me whine about it before, writing is HARD.
However, if given the choice between writing and a root canal, I will always choose writing. I will also choose writing over a visit to the DMV, weeding my garden, or putting gas in my car.
I prefer saving my passion for uncomplicated and undemanding activities: Netflix binges, wine tastings, Skyping with my far-flung children, Skyping with my far-flung children while wine tasting, asking Nala the WonderDog ridiculous questions and watching her head cock as she considers each one carefully. (“Do you want to go to the moon?” … “Is that squirrel your boyfriend?” … “Will you go to the grocery store for me?”) I can do that all freakin’ day.
Unfortunately, sometimes one must succumb to the dentist, the DMV, the weeds, and the gas station. And like it or not, writers must write. Every day, for most of us, so that word-thingy muscle doesn’t get … you know, that thing that happens when you don’t go to the gym … ah, yes, flabby.
But you might be asking, and rightly so, why then do you write novels, Becky?
Because — and please don’t tell or everyone will start doing it — writing novels is also fun. After the eyeball bleeding, the garment rending, the teeth gnashing, and the complete destruction of my self-esteem, that is.
I kid. Kinda.
When it’s over, there is great satisfaction from having written the perfect sentence, scene, or series. That perfection, unfortunately, is the sticking point.
My husband and I both took piano lessons as kids, but like much of humanity, didn’t stick with it. We realized we wanted to play the piano, not learn to play the piano. A fine distinction, but an important one. We even bought a piano when our kids were young, and would stare at it wistfully, wishing we could bang out a rousing Bumblebee Rag, rather than simply plink and plunk at Heart and Soul.
Passion for writing for me comes in the having written. I haven’t yet figured out any other way to get to that point other than using my mantra, BICHOK — butt in chair, hands on keyboard. But believe me, I’ve tried. I simply don’t think it can be done.
Alas, that is the true crime of passion.
How hard do you work at your passion?