Others have said: Writing is more than work.

Writing is a job, a talent, but it’s also the place to go in your head. It is the imaginary friend you drink your tea with in the afternoon.

Ann Patchett (Truth and Beauty: A Friendship)

I sometimes forget how privileged I am to have the talent to write.  It’s just that, with my time now so severely constrained, I feel like I have to use every free moment that I have to write. Those two words “have to” become a problem to me. Because they turn writing into work. A chore.

While writing does take some heavy commitment in order to achieve something with it, I don’t think it’s supposed to become a chore most of the time I write.

Rather, I need to focus on the fact that writing is my friend too. Writing always listens when I want to rant, or when I’m sad. It celebrates with me when I’m happy.

I miss writing when I don’t spend time on it for a while. But like most friends, I get a little tired if I force myself to be with it all the time. Sometimes, although writing might be my sanity’s saviour, I need to see other friends too.

But the fact remains that when I’m not writing, I feel trapped in my life. As if I can’t breathe. Writing frees me.

I need to remember that the next time writing starts to feel like a chore.

Do you sometimes feel as if writing is a chore/too much work? How do you remind yourself of why you write?

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16 thoughts on “Others have said: Writing is more than work.

  1. I find that writing becomes a chore when (a) I type it up, and (b) when it comes to editing it. I also go through bouts of being unable to write anything worth keeping, such as now. However, just been inspired to sketch out a synopsis, with the hope it will kickstart me into writing again.

    I write for the joy of it, to escape, to get the ideas out of my head so I can have room to think (it gets crowded in here). There are times when I find myself too concerned with writing something that'll be published, rather that just telling a story, which is the reason I started writing in the first place; and since I do want to get published one day, trying to balance the two is hard work, another chore.

  2. I do feel like this at times. It can be tedious work, and the isolation of writing novels doesn't help. Whenever I'm bitten by this bug, I stop writing for a day or two and ignite my love for storytelling by reading a great book. This always helps reestablish my love for writing.

  3. Writing is a good friend, but I have a problem. Its very hard for me to write at home. I think that's because they (the people with which I live) either don't respect the process or don't respect me. Not that I write all the time. But I should.

  4. Sometimes I have to do the same thing. If you approach life as a series of chores, it can bog you down. I have to often say, “Today I get to _____” so it sounds more like a reward. It helps.

  5. I usually don't feel like it's a chore. I'm so lucky to have these wonderful stories rolling around in my head, and I just want to share them with everyone. I love my wild imagination! It's like having a great sweeping Hollywood epic crammed in my brain, that I can watch whenever I want. 🙂

  6. It's feels like a chore to me when I'm editing and I set really tight deadlines for myself. (Like now.) But even then, I still falling in love with it all over again.

  7. Yep, writing definitely becomes a chore at times. That's when I have to take a break. It never needs to be a long break because it doesn't take me long to remember how much I love writing.

  8. Just like writing relaxes me-not writing stresses me out. When life gets busy and you're looking at a blank page when you know you have so much left to do; that's when writing feeling like a chore to me.

  9. YES! Especially those days when I show up but my characters don't. Of course as soon as I leave, they haunt me until I come back. We seem to have a great game of hide and seek going on. But when we someone yells, “Olly olly oxen free!” and we all show up, it's WONDERFUL!

  10. This makes perfect sense. I have been stuck too long in the “chore” mentality and need to remember how much fun creating can be. The editing and rewriting can be more of a chore, but that first draft of getting the story down, letting the characters run and play, is so exhilarating. Thanks for the timely reminder.

  11. There are definitely parts that are a chore. I love to write, but editing is one of my chores. But only on my own work – not on other manuscripts. Right now I'm formatting a collection for Kindle, and that is starting to feel like a chore, since all the stories came in with formatting that has to be stripped out! I comfort myself with the realization that everything we do has varying degrees of fun-ness.

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