Friday, June 24, 2005

Whores On Their Nights Off

A friend of mine—a writer and editor of many years—once told me that when one actually supports oneself on the proceeds of one’s writing, the relationship with the act itself changes. It becomes increasingly difficult to write for the mere pleasure of doing so, he said—partly because of fatigue, partly because of the contempt that comes with familiarity; this is why, for instance, a plumber, coming home from work, doesn’t while away his leisure hours happily fitting pipes together.

And there is (so I have found) also a curious sense of guilt—the idea that if writing is business, it cannot be fun; that time is money, and words are, too; that words spilled without the promise of a paycheck behind them are, by definition, wasted.

A poisonous idea, of course, but there it is. And getting past it will be my next great struggle, I think—my next monster to slay.

No comments: