A while ago, I cracked open my fortune cookie to find this. I immediately put it on the keyboard of my computer. Today, I found myself thinking about loving writing. I realized that there are two fundamental truths about it.
It costs effort. There are days when you won’t want to write. You need to anyway. This means that you will need to sit down at your desk, open up a word document, and write uphill. It will be a slog. You’ll hate doing it. You’ll probably fantasize about the story that seemed to write itself, the poem that seemed to pour itself onto the page, the scene which you served only as a stenographer for your characters as they chattered back and forth. That was then and this is now, and you still need to do it.
It costs time. There will be days that you won’t have time to write. We’re all busy. You can’t live on love. You have a nine to five, just one if you’re lucky. You probably have a place you call home to take care of, a person or people to take care of, pets, friends, not to mention that you also need to take care of yourself. You still need to make time to write. Thanksgiving comes but once a year, but you still eat everyday. So you don’t have time to have a banquet of words. Figure out how to make the equivalent of a fast food run at your desk, because you still need to write, even when you don’t have time.
It takes sacrifice. You will need to decide what’s more important to you, sleep or writing. Watching a movie with your partner or writing. Hanging out with your friends or writing. A million other things or writing. There are things more important than writing, some things that are as important, and a hell of a lot that is less important. This too will take effort.
Each love is different, so the rewards are different. However, when it’s love, there should be some pay off that outweighs the cost. Otherwise, it’s just martyrdom, which is damn boring.
Here are my rewards.
I see things, people, places, events. These are separate, disparate. As I write, I feel a thrill, a brain rush. I come to understand the relationships between those people, places, the things they do. I come to understand aspects of myself those characters and events speak to. I come to understand the people around me, the others around them, the society that surrounds us all. Writing, to me, is a higher, clearer way of thinking.
Everything else, money I make, praise I receive. I won’t lie, those things are nice. Money’s nice to get and have and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like a good shot to the shoulder and a heartfelt, “Well done, kid.”
That’s not why I do it.
The love I have for this thing I do fulfills me.
Find your love and then act on it.