Monday, March 9, 2009

Writers on Writing: Do You Enjoy Writing?

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Andrew Sullivan dropped a link to a great forum wherein writers of all stripes weigh in on the perennial question: "Why do you write and do you enjoy it?". All the responses are great, but I found this one, from Hari Kunzru, particularly similar to my own experiences:

"I get great pleasure from writing, but not always, or even usually. Writing a novel is largely an exercise in psychological discipline – trying to balance your project on your chin while negotiating a minefield of depression and freak-out. Beginning is daunting; being in the middle makes you feel like Sisyphus; ending sometimes comes with the disappointment that this finite collection of words is all that remains of your infinitely rich idea. Along the way, there are the pitfalls of self-disgust, boredom, disorientation and a lingering sense of inadequacy, occasionally alternating with episodes of hysterical self-congratulation as you fleetingly believe you've nailed that particular sentence and are surely destined to join the ranks of the immortals, only to be confronted the next morning with an appalling farrago of clich├ęs that no sane human could read without vomiting. But when you're in the zone, spinning words like plates, there's a deep sense of satisfaction and, yes, enjoyment…"

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