Some days, writing is easy. The words flow effortlessly and quickly. You walk away feeling a sense of accomplishment and pride.
Other days, writing is hard. Each sentence takes time, making it onto the page in fits and starts. You do what you can and contemplate deleting it all in the end.
So why do we write? What is the most satisfying part of writing—that part that brings you back to the computer or paper time after time, no matter how challenging the process feels?
A Love-Hate Relationship
When I first came across the quote, “I hate writing; I love having written,” a saying attributed to Dorothy Parker, I understood the meaning immediately. Though I would never say I hate writing, I do know how difficult the process of writing can be and how wonderful it feels to have written something, especially a piece that comes together just as I’d hoped.
In my experience, the frustrating part of writing arises when what I have in my mind—the idea, emotion, image—doesn’t come across on the page as gracefully or creatively as I envision it. The process of writing, in those cases, is an experience in disappointment, and I leave it hoping that when I return, I’ll know just how to make my writing better.
That means the flip side—the most satisfying part—for me is when the words on the page become a piece of art, expressing what I want to say in just the way I want to say it. In rare instances, that satisfaction—that absolute joy—emerges in the process of writing, as the words spill out and my fingers can barely keep up and I don’t pause to self-edit because it all sounds good.
But usually, that satisfaction happens once I finish a piece, once I’ve poured work and time and effort into it and it’s finally done, done, done. Yes, capturing that elusive feeling of fulfillment means I love having written.
What do you think is the most satisfying part of writing?
Write for fifteen minutes, either something new or part of a work in progress.
When you’re finished, please share your practice in the comments section—and let us know how it went. Did the words come easily, or was it difficult to get your point across? What do you think is the most satisfying part of writing?