May 3, 2014 11:50 am EDT
No real writer has ever written for enjoyment, for fulfillment, or out of some noble sense of purpose. Writing is torture. Writing is walking the tenuous line between sanity and madness. Writing is under-appreciated, never reaches its potential, wanders drearily searching for its audience, rarely finding it. Writing is an unraveling of the very core of the soul—every emotion, every thought—and the winding and weaving and recombining, painfully, achingly, distraught. Every writer is both murderer and martyr; writers dwell helplessly in each small death, each word, each phrase.
You are not a writer if you aspire to be a writer, if you dream of prestige or respect, of creating some acknowledged masterpiece. You can’t be a writer simply because you wish it so. The dreary magic of writing is not yours.
The real writer writes in the very midst of hating every word, every moment, every torturous hour. You question yourself every day. You curse the craft. You despise yourself for the “gift” of this desire. It makes no sense—it’s wholly unintelligible. You would stop writing, if only you could, and find some normalcy in life, occasions of peace and celebration.
But you cannot stop. You write only because you must.