I always hear people say, “I’m gonna write a book,” as if it is an easy task–something that could be done in a weekend in between a Friday night Netflix mini-marathon and Sunday brunch with friends. This always makes me laugh. If you only knew how much goes into a good piece of writing, I think, you wouldn’t be so flippant.
However, until today I’ve never really thought of writing as hard work. It’s probably because I associate hard work with a bunch of negative images (born mostly from life experiences): being underpaid, being bored, doing something repetitive and mind-numbing, maybe even being physically exhausted. But I’ve learned. I’ve learned that 1) writing is hard work 2) hard work doesn’t always mean something negative.
I went to bed at 2:00 AM last night after four hours of trying to edit two pages worth of original manuscript. When I woke up today I felt exhausted. It hurt to think. I knew then that writing is hard work. It is mentally and physically exhausting, but the sense of accomplishment that comes along with it is worth the exhaustion. No, I’m not being paid right now, and I may not be paid what this book is really worth to me, but I love the fact that one day my thoughts, my imagination will be out there for others to read and be inspired. And going over and over the same paragraphs can be repetitive, but the reward when those paragraphs come together is one that’s soul-enriching.
As a writer, I don’t write for fame or fortune (there are so many easier ways to achieve those things). I don’t write just because it’s something to do–an item on a “bucket list.” I do it because for me it’s hard, rewarding work. And there’s no better kind of work.