I saw this question posted online recently, and my immediate thought was: If it does, you’re getting sloppy.
Writing is work. Sure, there are days when the words flow, the characters follow directions, and the plot comes together. Those days feel magical. But I’ve worked office jobs, and I know that those kinds of work days can happen anywhere. Good work days and bad work days are not exclusive to writers. It’s just the nature of the good and bad that can make it seem so different.
People who don’t write can’t quite conceive of writing as “work.” This is because writers, despite all the trials, generally love their work. And some non-writers feel as if loving your work means it isn’t really work. But again, that’s not any more true for writers than it is for anyone in any other field. A construction worker could love his job, but it’s definitely still a lot of work. A computer programmer could love her job, but again, still work.
“Oh, but you sit in a chair all day and make stuff up.”
- Plenty of people sit in chairs most of their working days.
- Making stuff up isn’t as easy at it sounds. If it were, everyone would do it all the time, right?
- Making stuff up and selling it to people is even harder.
- Making stuff up, selling it to people, and having people like it enough to want more is hardest of all. If your job does not require you to please large quantities of diverse and sometimes very picky people on a regular basis, consider yourself lucky.
Do you remember having to write papers for school? Sure, often they were essays, but sometimes your teacher wanted you to write a story or a poem. Wasn’t that work? Wasn’t it in some ways easier to write the essay because at least you had a starting point, a topic handed to you?
Bottom line: writing is work. And I know many authors say they can spit a book out every month, or six weeks, or whatever, but I have to question the quality.
Good writing seldom goes quickly, and it never gets easier.