Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Writing is not painful

(via Daniel Abraham) Garrison Keillor knows the score.
Okay, let me say this once and get it off my chest and never mention it again. I have had it with writers who talk about how painful and harrowing and exhausting and almost impossible it is for them to put words on paper and how they pace a hole in the carpet, anguish writ large on their marshmallow faces, and feel lucky to have written an entire sentence or two by the end of the day.

It's the purest form of arrogance: Lest you don't notice what a brilliant artist I am, let me tell you how I agonize over my work. To which I say: Get a job. Try teaching eighth-grade English, five classes a day, 35 kids in a class, from September to June, and then tell us about suffering.
Speaking as someone who has written books, but also taught middle school history in a Texas public school, allow me to say, Amen. Anyone who complains about how hard writing is has either never had an actual job, or is selling you a bill of goods. Writing is fun!

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