Writing is Nonpareil

Writing can wreck your body. You sit there on the chair hour after hour and sweat your guts out to get a few words.  ~Norman Mailer, 1998

Funny, I never had any problem completing writing assignments, regardless of the format. Anything from poetry to essays to research papers were a breeze. Assignments for the school papers or magazines I could pump out. Articles for press releases and publicity I could churn out. But when I decide to sign up for a 1-month-50K-word writing challenge, or tell myself I need to write my book my collections my stories my poetry I come up with sweaty guts à lá Norman Mailer, so I guess I’m not in such bad company. Probably the distractions of survival have something to do with it. I think it’s probably the knowledge and realization that life isn’t just getting up and going to class and doing what is expected of you or asked of you or even what you choose to do because you know you always have somewhere to go home to, food at the table or in the fridge, a bed, and all the creature comforts you need. When you’re writing and hoping that it will bring home the bacon and pay the bills, then it becomes an immensely unreliable method for relieving worry or for self-expression because your expression becomes limited to your source of worry which is whether or not your writing will sell and how soon and how much. Anyone who wants to be a writer by profession or vocation should first take a course on how to survive on writing alone. The intellectual, psychological, and emotional satisfaction you get is nonpareil.

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