The Job We Love to Hate

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.

Wrong.

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?

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About Miss Rosemary

is a recent college graduate from NY hoping to complete her novel of ten years. Stop by her blog, Miss Rosemary's Novel Ideas at http://missrosemary.net or contact her at MissRosemarysNovelIdeas@gmail.com with comments, questions and suggestions. She'd love to hear from you! View all posts by Miss Rosemary

30 responses to “The Job We Love to Hate

  • Bethany

    I must say – I don’t hate anything about writing what I write. (Though my procrastination of certain things means it’s not always my first choice.) But you know why I don’t write poetry? Because I hate it. Not the writing of poetry, but poetry itself. It’s sinister that way – feeling cathartic and romantic only to be tomorrow morning’s cunning little coyote ugly. I. Hate. Poetry. And not because it embarrassed me, but because I hate even what is supposedly undeniably GOOD poetry. There. I’m not as high-brow and intelligista anymore. I will apparently read memoirs by poets (I Know Why…) but I shan’t ever buy their poetry.

  • Goggles and Lace

    I hate writing sometimes. I love the creative process. It’s the actual writing I can’t stand. I keep thinking “writing, WHY do you suck so much!?” and then it answers me “I don’t, you do.” And then I write some more to prove it wrong. >_>

  • sharmon

    I don’t always love it either. Sometimes it is like digging ditches in hard GA clay. It drains and exhausts me like no other work can do. And yet. When you break through, you feel the rush of another world come to life that didn’t exist till you thought it…very satisfying. Even on days when all I can manage is drivel, when I lay down that night I can say comfortingly, “Yes, but I wrote.”
    Re: Writer’s Block. Yes, it exists. But I refuse it. I don’t know where I read it but writer’s block is fear defined. When I thought about it, that was exactly what was stopping me: fear. Fear it would reek, fear a word won’t show up on the blank page, fear of success and changes, etc. You name the fear. Once I realized this, I prayed, took a deep breath and wrote. If it reeked it was ok because I was prepared for that; that’s why they call it REvision.

  • Agatha82

    You go girl 🙂
    You are telling it like it is! Seriously, I wrote exactly about this not too long ago. I’m sorry but anyone who says they absolutely adore all this bollocks that comes with writing is a masochist so good for you for speaking about this. I HATE descriptions with a passion whilst I LOVE writing dialogue. I hate having to look at a building and think “hmmm how can I describe it?” arghhhh…

    Oh but I’d rather suffer through anything writing related than go to the densist (haven’t been in 3 years eeeek)

  • junebugger

    Have you ever considered screen writing as well? (Along with publishing a book). It’s all dialogue, I believe.

    Hmm… What do I hate about writing…. I actually love writing both descriptions and dialogues, though the latter is a bit more of a challenge for me. But I love it still. I do dislike writing minor characters–but not hate. I just skim through writing them knowing I have a 1000 drafts in which I can improve them.
    Ah, writing linking-scenes is a pain in the arse…but I’ve learned that when I restructure that scene properly, or tap into the right source of inspiration, it becomes fun to write.

    So, I honestly don’t ‘hate’ anything about writing. For me, it’s more of me waking on some days and feel dread at the thought of writing if I’m in a writer’s block.

    So yes, for me, it’s mainly….dread. Writing can at times be a labor

    • Miss Rosemary

      Hmm. Maybe I will try screenwriting one time.

      And you put it much more eloquently than I did. It’s not the actual writing I dislike, it’s the dread of it not turning out the way I want it to.

  • slightlyignorant

    I think that you’re absolutely right, and there’s NOTHING hypocritical about this at all! I know a journalist who wrote a weekly column for many years and he hated writing it. Despised it, in fact. But he did it. He quit a few months ago, and now he’s back to writing what he loves – plays, skits, satires. But for years, he was writing what he hated to write and what made him miserable even though he was darn good at it.

    But that’s not even what you’re saying – you’re saying that you hate writing sometimes because sometimes… well, it’s hard. I remember last semester sitting down to write papers, and sometimes I’d be miserable. Once I started, it’d get better, but at the beginning… Boy, did I NOT want to write. Even now, writing two hours daily, I sometimes face the task with dread and stress. But ultimately? Those times are worth it because of the times during which writing feels like magic.

  • theliterarylollipop

    I probably wouldn’t say I ever “hated” creative writing but when I was in school studying English Literature, I would stare at the computer screen until my eyes watered, trying to write an introduction for an essay. It was too methodical a process; that’s what I love about creative writing. My thoughts flow freely onto the page without my brain telling me it’s “wrong” or “not scholarly enough” or “not up to my professor’s expectations”. When I write creatively, there isn’t a single negative thought in my brain. I simply tell myself to “write” without any constraints.

  • Brown Eyed Mystic

    When getting an idea for a plot–I’ve noticed it never comes when I sit upright on my couch and wait for it to grant me the ambrosia–seems like an indefinite wait-period! Oh and of course, I land at a great one when I am least looking for it. W-e-i-r-d to the core! And, yes honey, that’s right; it boils my blood!

    I hate writing.

    And did I tell you I heart writing?

    -BrownEyed 😉

  • Lua

    Haha this reminded me of Ollin’s post, “a love more like hate”…
    Yeah, there are times it really annoys me, when I can’t make a dialogue sound real, write a scene as I picture it in my head and it doesn’t help that I’m not good with descriptions either…
    It’s like a relationship- any true relationship; you can’t be on cloud 9 all the time, you can’t always see eye to eye on everything and you can’t always show each other how much you love one another.
    (but you always know it anyway) 😉

  • Clare Sager

    Amen!!! I am with you – I have a certain distrust for people who claim to not have an ambivalent relationship with writing, because it’s a difficult thing, a challenging thing. (Sorry if anyone fitting that description is reading this!) Writing isn’t all light and love and skipping through a flowery meadow – it’s more like slogging through mud to get to a flowery meadow.

    I don’t think there’s necessary one thing that I hate about writing, but I do have a love-hate relationship with it. Mostly I dislike the thought of going to sit down and write (and sometimes it’s a struggle to keep myself in the seat during certain scenes or if I’m not in the mood), so it gets hard to make myself do it. But when I’m actually writing, especially on dialogue scenes or when I’m in the right mood, the time flies away and I can have 800 words written before I know it. Plus there are all the feelings mixed up in the desire to have a finished novel in your hands and get published and the fear that you’re rubbish and will never get to see your book in a shop and the absolute terror of revealing yourself so intimately in a novel (however fictional it may be – people always associate characters or scenes with you).

    Bravo and thank you to you for your honesty, Miss R!

    • Miss Rosemary

      Thanks Clare. You can count on me to vent with no qualms at any time! lol And I really love your flowery meadow visual. That’s pretty much exactly how I feel about the whole thing 🙂

  • Corra McFeydon

    Oh – ironic! I just posted something similar to this!

    I hated the last sentence of your first paragraph, until I realized you didn’t mean it. 🙂 I definitely hate writing — or rather, I did, until I realized what I hated about it was that I was trying to do it like everybody else. Now that I’m confortable with my own plan of attack, I love it again, like I did as a child.

    Which is as it should be, I reckon. 😉

    Great post.

    – Corra

  • Barb

    signora mia,
    we are soul mates! 😉 I had to send out my novel “Fire” to a beta-reader because I found it “boring” for too many descriptions! Thing is, the sense for that book was sight, so I put in lots of visual descriptions… that bored me to death! (Well, I’m also afraid the cast is too huge, so he’ll have to help me with clarity on that one)
    So, I hate descriptions and am quite good at dialogue. I must add that I cringe at poetry… but then we’re not twins, are we? 😉

  • Belligerent Baker

    I’m with you, Miss Rosemary. Sometimes I think I have acid reflux when actually, all I have is dread. I dread spending the time in my own head, so much so that I’ll take a crying jag for an apertif.

    What gets me going now is the greater dread of knowing that I’ve wasted a writing life not actually doing so. A puke and a smoke later, I just force myself up like I do for work everyday. Like right now.

    • Miss Rosemary

      Bahaha! Acid reflux. I feel you girl! It’s that feeling that you’re not doing it right so your stomach gets all tight and your chest starts to burn and you tell your father you’re having a heart attack … I mean, I’ve never done that!

  • ABlankWhitePage

    I write sales copy sometimes. That’s not much fun–okay, it can be if the client is cool and creative, but lets face it, that doesn’t happen that often. Still, I’d rather be doing that than…er…accounting (a total shame, because accounting pays way better and the hours are shorter).

  • aloysa

    Description is the hardest for me. Dialogues – the easiest. Also, in my current novel there are certain pieces from the diary of my main character. I am really enjoying writing those. I think descriptions are more difficult for me cause I find them boring (to a certain extent). They are important, no doubt, but I always rush through them and, later, I have to go back and work on them some more.

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