Recent discussions on the forum have touched on why someone should or shouldn't write, and I've noticed something I've found to be quite common. It's the idea that if you don't LOVE writing, if it doesn't make you happy , you shouldn't do it.
I disagree. Actually, to be more specific, I disagree that's true for me.
I have always remembered a story I heard about a successful writer who had to make his wife lock him in his study everyday to make him write. He would rattle the doorknob, beg to be let out, cry, curse, pretend to get sick, all to no avail. His wife has been instructed by the writer himself not to let him out until he had passed a certain number of pages of new writing under the door.
I'm not that bad, but I sympathize with this writer. I'm not a writer because it makes me euphoric. I don't spring out of bed everyday filled with the desire to get to the keyboard to start a new day's work on my WIP. In fact the act of getting me to write is a struggle in the way it's a struggle to get into a chilly swimming pool or the way it's a struggle to get a retired soldier back onto the battlefield he thought he's left for good. Hey, maybe I have writing PTSD!
I was in the midst of trying to explain my relationship to writing to a frinemy of mine when she interrupted to declare I should not be a writer. If you don't LOVE what you do, you shouldn't do it.
Wow, way to force her experience, her relationship to creativity, on me. The fact that I hate sitting down to write has nothing to do with whether or not I should write. If I don't write, like it or not, my mood declines and my irritability increases significantly. I don't write because it feels good. I write because it feels bad not to, because it is what I do and couldn't stop doing for all the money in the world, not for long anyway. (We recall that thread, don't we?)
So what I wanted to do with this thread is ask everyone to say something about their personal relationship to writing. If you write because you LOVE it, fair enough and I'd like to hear about it, but I'd love to know how many others out there write from another place.