We all talk about why we love writing. We tell others how much it helps when we’re depressed or stressed. We gush about how it releases tension and helps us share our joy (even if it’s just with our computers or notebooks). We praise our prose and dialogue. We exult our poetry. Even if we are not entirely satisfied with the outcome, we would never even consider not writing. It’s something we have to do simply because we love it so much.
I say that’s a load of crap.
There are times when I hate writing. And I mean hate, loathe and despise. Writing science term papers for example. I’d rather have dental work. Sometimes even writing English papers, depending on the professor and the topic, can be unbearable.
But that’s school, Miss Rosemary, you say. School writing is different from creative writing. Of course you like creative writing all the time.
I hate creative writing sometimes too. There, I said it, sue me. I’m a hypocrite. No, I’m not. You were thinking it, you just didn’t have the guts to say it. Even the best, most dedicated writers of the creative sort hate writing certain things at certain times. Sometimes (like today if you were me) you could be too angry to write. You can’t focus or channel your energy into creative juices, and then you hate yourself for not being able to write and then hate writing by association.
But barring intense emotions, every writer has that one element of writing s/he can’t stand … usually the one s/he is not good at. For example, between the two of us, G and I could probably write a whole book and be satisfied with it, because she could write all the settings and descriptions and I could write all the dialogue. She’s better at crafting settings and making “She had brown hair and blue eyes,” sound poetic while I can write some pretty good dialogue, whether witty, intense or depressing. One’s strength is the other’s weakness. Actually, now that I mention it, it sounds like a good idea. Babykins, let’s try that co-author thing!
What I’m trying to say is writing descriptions does not come easily to me so, nine times out of ten, I hate writing them. I am never satisfied with the way they turn out and sometimes, depending on my mood, I would rather be doing anything else besides writing. Why should I be sitting here rummaging through dictionaries and thesauruses (online and print) on a quest for the right word when the real problem is my inadequacy that’s making the setting suck? Why should I torture myself? Why not just skip over that little description and fill my story with what I’m good at? Because then the story would lack necessary elements and wouldn’t flow and would leave readers unsatisfied with an incomplete tale and I hate writing!!!!
So. What do you think of me now? Have I incriminated myself? Am I a hypocrite? A fake writer? No. I’m an honest writer. I’m a real writer. It’s not all easy. It’s not all simple. It’s not all “love it, live it, breathe it because I have to or else I’ll just die!” I take it as it is. I hate descriptions yes, but I know I can rise to the occasion. I take it as a challenge. I know it needs improvement, so I vow to improve it. I make myself write those descriptions. I leave Post-its in the dictionary on good words and stick index cards in my favorite books at good descriptions to use as models. I make notes in my Kindle books. When an image strikes me, I write it down to recall it later and put it to use.
Is all this a giant pain in the ass? Well duh, it takes up far too much time. But when it boils down to the bare basics, it all has to be done. Not one step can be omitted. Because I do love writing just for the sake of writing. I wouldn’t die without it (simply because I am generally a very physically healthy person) but I wouldn’t be the same. Something wouldn’t feel right.
That doesn’t mean I should feel bad about hating the process though. I stand by my right to hate my passion if I so choose!
What about you? What do you HATE writing? Do you despise descriptions? Do you spit on prose? Do you cringe at poetry? Do you hate your characters because they can never say the right thing in the heat of an argument? What about writing really boils your blood?