1. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    Writers who hate writing

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by JLT, Sep 10, 2017.

    While rereading Kurt Vonnegut's novel Slapstick, I came across the following passage. In it, Kurt and his brother Bernard, a prominent scientist, are flying to Indianapolis for the funeral of their uncle.

    Which reminds me of another writer whose name escapes me at the moment. She said, "I hate to write, but I love to have written."
     
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  2. Lifeline

    Lifeline Going South. Supporter Contributor

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    So, so true (the part about hating writing) o_O.
     
  3. Moon

    Moon Phases of the Moon Contributor

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    I don't know anyone who likes the writing part of writing. I don't. Nothing fun about spending 14 hours of my days off in front of my laptop typing away until my hands cramp. Only to find out, or perhaps think to myself, that what I've just written is absolute shit and should all be deleted.

    I bet Stephen King likes the writing part of writing.
     
  4. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    I like writing. Not if I push myself too hard, but if I go at a reasonable pace and just enjoy the characters? Yeah, I like it.

    I hate EDITING. That's the bad part!
     
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  5. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The bastards hung me in the spring of '25.... Contributor

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    Why would anyone write if they hate it? Maybe if you're getting seriously paid, but I doubt that's the case for most of y'all.
     
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  6. Moon

    Moon Phases of the Moon Contributor

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    The "hate" part is a bit overly dramatic, I think. Similar to how tweens go around "loving" everything.

    The writing part of writing is just laborious to me at times.
     
  7. D.Clarke

    D.Clarke Active Member

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    I hate the physical act of writing with the hands. My handwriting is atrocious and it takes a extreme amount of effort to produce legible work. So I'll take the countless hours of typing over my chicken scratch.
     
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  8. LostThePlot

    LostThePlot Naysmith Contributor

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    I have absolutely no idea how anyone who claims to hate their work or the act of writing can write.

    I fucking love writing. It is an endless, revelatory journey towards things both heart breaking and terrifying, sometimes both at the same time. It's the best damn thing.
     
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  9. izzybot

    izzybot Transhuman Autophage Contributor

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    I love writing. It's my favorite thing, right behind my cat. Tea is right up there too. Christ, I'm a stereotype.

    Really, I have tendinitis so it's painful if I'm stupid about it (which is frequently), and I know that it's not always good for my mental health because it's a very convenient excuse to stay inside at my desk and not see other people or get fresh air often enough, but I love it. I don't want to do anything else with my life. I wouldn't do it if I didn't love it.

    Never understood that mindset. The chances of 'making it' as an artist are so astronomical, why put yourself through that if you don't enjoy it? There's much more reliable work to be found that you can suffer through if you're committed to suffering. At least make a decent living with it.
     
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  10. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView Supporter

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    This baffles me too. All the people who force themselves to write even though it brings them no joy... wtf? Find another hobby!
     
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  11. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I usually love editing. We'll see if that lasts in a bigger work.
     
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  12. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Elizabeth Gilbert talks about (OK, I find a Googleable quote...)

    ...being "firmly against German Romanticism and its obsession with creative misery and the icon of the tormented artist."

    I'm not all that clear on 'German Romanticism' but she seems to think that the idea that art is supposed to be a horrible experience is a relatively new thing, in historical terms. (Like, oh, only since the Renaissance. :))
     
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  13. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView Supporter

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    Well, I'm with her. :D I have no patience for the woe-is-me tortured writer pretentiousness. Don't get me wrong, I whinge about writing sometimes when I'm having a problem I can't see the solution to... but when I'm really not enjoying it, I do something else.
     
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  14. Autonomous

    Autonomous New Member

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    I remember reading Isaac Asimov's autobiography where he said he was unusual in the fact that he loves writing. I think he was boasting a bit about how prolific he was and that the vast majority of writers hate the process - beating themselves up / being too self critical and writer's block etc.

    Personally, I like the initial process when I have that spark of an idea, but it's the editing and re-writes I don't enjoy. Like most I guess.
     
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  15. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    Writing for me is like anything else I enjoy. I love doing it until I'm actually obligated to, then it's the bane of my existence. Well, maybe not so far as that, but it definitely goes from what I do to procrastinate to what I'm procrastinating from.
     
  16. OnesieWrites

    OnesieWrites Member

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    The writing part for me, comes from the strong need to tell a story. I've had a love/hate relationship with writing, but i find that when i snatch up a great idea, its enjoyable. If its not, its the story i wish to tell which makes the process bearable.
     
  17. LostThePlot

    LostThePlot Naysmith Contributor

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    Well, I wouldn't go that far (I still need to get laid, you know?) just not being tortured about writing. And it is surprisingly easy to be tortured by literally anything else.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
  18. ghostkisses

    ghostkisses Member

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    Sometimes I don't always enjoy the process of writing, but mainly bc of my perfectionist brains and me telling myself that I just simply have to use words I don't even understand so I'm not using the same ones over and over again. I like reading over it when it's done, though. Plus I have the opposite of writers block and my brain is just spitting out ideas like a spitfire and I never know which ones to choose before I come up with even more. "But that's the opposite of a problem!" ...Maybe, but I'm fickle as heck, and somehow I can't translate my notes into proper sentences when I've practically already done the hard part.
     
  19. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    Funny you mentioned him. I recently came across a quote of his: "Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work." But you're right that he liked writing. Another quote: "Yes, I've made a great deal of dough from my fiction, but I never set a single word down on paper with the thought of being paid for it ... I have written because it fulfilled me ... I did it for the buzz. I did it for the pure joy of the thing. And if you can do it for joy, you can do it forever."

    Well, Asimov loved to tell stories, and that was one way to do it. He often said that he literally didn't know what to do when he wasn't writing. When he was at the beach, he'd be the one with a portable typewriter on his lap. Maybe somewhere along the line, it stops being love and starts being addiction.
     
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  20. LostThePlot

    LostThePlot Naysmith Contributor

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    I don't know if addiction is the right word but yes, I get the feeling that under all circumstances I want to be writing. And really why wouldn't you want to be writing? It's engaging and demands that you push yourself to create something new. You can't always be writing and you need to give yourself time away from it but it's still the thing I want to be doing as much as I reasonably can.
     
  21. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll "It's a messy business." :P Supporter Contributor

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    It can be a bit taxing when pretty much every body thinks your shit, and
    they don't have the gall to just say it in such simple fashion. Though I
    do enjoy it, in spite of the fact that people piss on it without fail. :p
     
  22. gertegan

    gertegan Member

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    I love writing. Editing, on the other hand, is about as much fun as root canal.
     
  23. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    I think before we pass judgement on this viewpoint, we need to establish what exactly is meant by 'I hate writing'.

    Does it mean they hate the physical process? Does it mean they hate the mental process? Does it mean they hate literature?

    My guess is it's the physical process to which they're referring, which I can very much get on board with. Writing gives me headache, arm-ache and backache. Why wouldn't I hate that?

    Come to that, I'm not overly keen on the mental process either. It's wonderful when it comes together, but for the most part it's frustrating, disheartening and demoralising - all things borne from an inability to get things right.
     
  24. LostThePlot

    LostThePlot Naysmith Contributor

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    I wouldn't call any of those things writing though.

    I definitely see it to mean 'creating my world and telling my character's stories'. And that's something really different to the process of trying to sell a book, or editing a book, or even from just the physical aspects of writing. And I agree, all those other parts around the edges of writing suck. But that's not the same as saying you hate telling your character's story; if you hate that then why would you bother doing it? It's certainly not for the pay and benefits package, is it?
     
  25. Trish

    Trish Damned if I do and damned if I don't Contributor

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    Personally, I love writing. When things are going well it's the absolute best thing in the world. When things aren't going well, I still really want it to go well and keep working on it until it does. I can't imagine doing it if I hated it, and I can't think of a single reason why I would bother at that point (or why anyone would). There's really no aspect of writing that I hate. There are some that are more difficult, but none that I dislike enough to stop writing.
     
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