I know this is a revelation to many of you, so I wanted to be the first to inform you of this news. Writing is a difficult task, especially long-term writing, like novels, when you just have to write and write and write, until your follicles bleed from your hair being removed in fistfuls and your eyes weep rivers of abandoned dreams, and when that day is over, you have to do it all over again the next day, and the next day and the day after that. But the thing is, when you’re not doing it, you WANT to. You want to so bad, and you don’t know why. You’re enjoying a lovely dinner with your family and you know you should probably be listening to your brother’s story about how his college program is changing his life but all your brain is doing is reminding you that you have to get on with that next scene in your book.
And how dare you call it a book? It’s like eleven thousand words so far of raw, unedited brain drivel – I mean, that is certainly no book I’ve ever heard of. It’s an embarrassment to the entire world of literature. It is a coaster on which rests the fine wines of Faulkner and Chaucer and Rowling. It’s like the baby at jamboree that licks the floor while the other babies sing along to “Wheels on the Bus” in perfect harmony. Or whatever babies do at jamboree. Either way, it is nothing to brag about, and its minor existence as a couple of half-baked words on a page in no way entitles you to refer to it as a book.
But on top of all of that, and knowing all of that, you still love it. You still love it and nurture it and obsess over it and when it’s not around you think about it constantly, trying to work out its finer points, its subtle nuances, how to make it really sing. And when you’re with it, all you want to do is put your fists through it until it’s dead. But you know you would just start it all over again.
It never ends. Every day, if you’re not writing, you’re feeling guilty about not writing, and when you are writing, you’re feeling guilty about not writing well enough, and when you’re reading you feel insanely jealous in the most pathetic version of self-loathing because you know that shit they wrote, that shit is pure gold. That other person’s words stab you right in that section of your heart that needed to be stabbed, and it’s pure and true and you laugh and cry and feel the blood pumping through your veins in a way you never did before, and it makes your fingers itchy to sit back at your own word document and start writing your own golden words.
But right now it’s just the rough draft, and your words are a lot more like the dirty concrete they re-use to make parking lots. Writing is HARD, man. I really have to get back to it.