Yesterday my boss handed out certificates for a paid day off–it’s something the company does for each department once a year, and April is our month. I said, I should probably use this before you hire someone for me to start training, right?
Ah, who cares, because tomorrow is now a paid day off and I have scored myself a four-day stretch to hammer away at my revisions. I’m fairly certain you are as tired of hearing me talk about them as I am to be diving in once more. Revisions are a bitch.
I don’t know what I imagined writing to be before I took the plunge, but what I know now is that it is work. Difficult, painstaking work. When people hear I’m a writer, they say, Oh what fun! or, Wow you must really enjoy that! and they think I’m crazy to demur. I try to explain that I love the challenge of it, the puzzle, the quest to find an evocative phrase. I like to focus my attention on a problem and solve it. But writing is a twisted pleasure. It requires a sustained and weary trek through a mental swampland, every single day. It requires obsession and a certain intellectual masochism, and the kind of perfectionism your third-grade teacher tried to discourage when she had to pry that book report out of your small, sweaty fingers as you agonized over the distinction between ‘hop’ and ‘jump’. Words have to fucking matter. All of them, all the time. You’ve got to fiend for them.
You’ve got to be a superfreak in a jam-stained cardigan.
Chicken or egg. Did writing make you obsessive or did you hatch that way?