Tuesday, 3 March 2009

The Writing Process - what it's really like

Is writing a chore or a pleasure? If you are anything like me, then it’s a little of both. At the moment, it seems more like a chore, having to churn out the words, not knowing whether the product will be (a) any good from a literary point of view and (b) any good from a commercial point of view. I’m pleased to discover I’m not alone – there are some fascinating testimonies from a number of writers in today’s Guardian.

There was also an article in Sunday's Observer (in the travel section) on people who have ‘taken the plunge and escaped the rat race’. I thought I was doing that when I decided to throw in my well-paid job and move out into the country to become a ‘proper’ writer. But, like anything, it’s a business. For me, it’s the commercial aspect that makes writing a chore. But, if you are not writing for your readers, who are you writing for? In the Guardian piece, A L Kennedy compares writing to sex – when you do it for pleasure it’s a nice thing; when you do it for cash it’s ‘probably less fun’. I suppose that means that, if you’re writing only for yourself, you’ll probably go blind . . .