Sorry about the unexcused absences on Monday and Tuesday. I was a bit under the weather.
I didn't get very far in my catch-up blog reading this morning before I came across an interview in which a published writer was asked, "Do you find writing easy?"
Yes, the writer replied, because writing is fun.
Writing is fun for me, too, but it's not easy. It's incredibly difficult, what with all the fiddling and tweaking that's required before I'm happy with each paragraph, scene, and chapter. I'm a slow writer who must go over and over a manuscript before I'm satisfied with my work. Writing well is an enormous challenge, and I often worry that I won't be able to pull off whatever story I'm working on.
I don't quit, though. I never quit. That has nothing to do with self-discipline; it's sheer stubbornness that keeps me going.
When I play a computer game, I never choose the easy level. I have to do it the hard way, even if I end up playing dozens of times before I beat the game. I don't give up because I'm having fun, even when I'm not winning. I'm completely absorbed in my search for an edge, for some strategy for beating the odds insisting that I can't win. My eyes glaze over and I become hyper-focused on my task. I exist only to win the game.
But it's not winning the game that thrills me. It's playing the game to the very best of my ability. That's why I push the settings past Medium and Difficult to Darn Near Impossible. The greater challenge ratchets up the excitement I feel when I'm playing well.
I feel the same way about writing. If writing were easy for me, it would hold little appeal. I write romance novels because it's darn near impossible to write a really good one.
I'm a dedicated procrastinator, but writing isn't a chore I have to talk myself into performing. That's why I've always been puzzled by writers who endlessly yammer about the struggle to get their backsides in their chairs and their hands on their keyboards. I never got why they felt it necessary to pat themselves on the back for meeting daily word counts and other goals. They don't have to write if they don't want to. It's not like anybody holds a gun to your head and orders you to write a novel. So why do so many people work so hard to psych themselves up to sit down and write?
Today I'm wondering if it's because those writers find their thrills in overcoming their reluctance to get started. Maybe that's the challenge they relish.
Maybe I understand them better than I thought.