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Is Writing Fun or Work?

The question for this week comes from Angela Garcia. Thanks!

“Is writing fun or work?”

Writing most definitely starts off as fun. When I found my passion for it, I was twelve. I thought it was so fun that I preferred it over going out with friends. There is a type of joy that comes from the creation. I have tried to describe it to people, but I’m not sure if it comes off clear. So, let me try here. Imagine the best book you have ever read; the one that captures you in your gut. It consumes you, insisting you hurry through life to get back to reading. You fall in love with the characters, totally buy into their lives, and emotions run high as you discover how everything will end. Writing is kind of like that. Only, it is a little different. I already know the ending. So, for me, when I write it is about the journey, how I am going to lead my characters. But I still fall in love with them, care for them…even when I kill them off.

This is where the work comes in. Stories don’t just pour out of writers…at least nobody I know. For me, I usually hit about page 80 and have to fight with the plot a little. Then all goes well until about page 200 and then I have to fight some more. The Lord of Nightmares battled me more than any other book I’ve written, so much so that I ended up gutting out the middle at one point and re-writing it. But, the fight is worth it when everything clicks together, the ideas start flowing once more, and the characters drive forward.

When I was young, I could write when inspiration hit. I used to say I didn’t want to write on a schedule because I thought it would turn what I loved into a chore. I have since seen the inexperience in my opinion. I have to write on a schedule or it doesn’t get done. And, guess what, I still love the process. Similarly, a lot of part-time writers have is that if they get the huge book deal from a top publisher, then they will have deadlines. Deadlines mean writers can no longer take their time with the creation. The question becomes, does it become work? It should always be somewhat difficult. After all, sometimes the best things in life come with a struggle—that’s what makes us appreciate their value.

Right now, writing is still more fun than work. I think the moment it becomes work, I will have to find a new passion—or at least step back and remember why I got into the business in the first place.

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