Above all, let there be pleasure.” — Writer and musician Laura Davis
Have you thought about this lately? About the sheer pleasure of writing? I don’t mean joy, that more sublime emotion. I mean something much more basic, physical, and down-to-earth: something sensual.
I have to admit, I haven’t given much thought to the pleasure of writing in recent weeks. Like a lot of writers, I’ve gotten stuck in the day-to-day grind (have to get this chapter revised by the end of the week, have to figure out what to do about that plot twist). And I’ve been too caught up in the anxiety, the frustrations. This is pretty common among writers. Many of us approach our work with a kind of grim determination. Others enjoy it when it's going well, then go spiraling into despair when the going gets tough.
If you’re not enjoying the writing process—really finding a kind of luscious pleasure from it—you’re missing one of the most wonderful aspects of the writing life.That’s what’s been happening to me these days. So all this week, I’m blogging about how to reconnect with writing in a positive way. Part of that has to do with just feeling good when I write, just enjoying it.
Listen to how some writers talk about their work:
Julie Myerson, author of The Lost Child, describes an “adrenaline rush” when she writes.
Novelist Carla Charter speaks of “sheer excitement.”
Internet writer Katherine Woodfine uses the phrase “utterly self-indulgent pleasure.”
Blogger Linda Ann Nickerson writes of being “helplessly caught up in the passion for words.”
Some writers experience writing as physically enjoyable. “When I got serious about being a writer, I developed [a] sensory fondness for my typewriter,” says nonfiction writer Stephanie Golden. “I felt [a] connection on the typewriter, as a flow of energy from my gut through my hands striking the keys onto the paper.”
And check out this quote from Will Self: “Short stories are foreplay,” writes the British novelist and journalist. “Novellas are heavy petting. But novels are the full monte.” Now, that’s someone who enjoys writing!
Well, if Will Self can think of writing as the, uh, "full monte," so can I. And you. And all of us. How wonderful to sit down to our work as if it were making love!
Causes Jill Jepson Supports
Humane Society of the United States, Defenders of Wildlife, Interational Society for the Protection of Burros and Mustangs, National Wildlife Federation,...