On Writing

Writing is a funny thing. I could say Fiction is a harsh mistress, but that’s not quite as accurate.

Fiction, you see, is both harsh and kind, both demanding and giving. The muse, treated well, can provide story after story, inspiration from nothing, and flashes of joy that rival anything I’ve felt from practically any other relationship.

The actual writing, however…

It’s just funny.

There are times when writing is a pleasure. The words flow naturally, and all is right with the world. There are times when it feels rather more like pulling teeth. Nothing sounds the way it should, and you’re convinced that your characters have dumb names (and are ugly besides).

Writing is a job. Writing is an art. Writing is a way of life.

I have tried before to stop writing. It’s too much stress and work at times. I’ve ignored the writing, pushed it aside, and told myself it was not a feasible career path. But it wouldn’t go away. Even when I wasn’t writing them down, stories were chasing ‘round inside my head.

I have read many pieces of advice from authors to aspiring authors over the years, and one of them stuck with me. It was a quiz Holly Lisle put together to tell you if you were a writer at heart. One of the questions was something to the effect of, “how quickly would you be bored if you were all alone in an empty room?” The “YOU ARE A WRITER!!” version of the answer was essentially, “you are never alone… the voices in your head are always there to talk to you.”

So at the moment, even though I haven’t been sitting down and actually getting my hands on the keyboard nearly as often as I’d like, I consider myself a writer. The stories are there. They want to come out. And though I don’t have as much time for the act of writing as I would like, it is still a part of my way of life.


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