Before we get to the actual business of writing, let’s consider the motivation. What one might call the job satisfaction of the work.
Many writers complain that they do not enjoy the process. They find it agonising, daunting, or stressful. I cannot understand this. To me, whilst it may at times be frustrating, it seems one of the most fulfilling jobs there is. Creativity in whatever form, in whatever job, is the secret to happiness – the arts are the most creative of all occupations – and writing is the art that combines both imagination and intellect to the greatest degree.
Four unique aspects to the writing business
- As a writer, you are playing at God. You are creating whole worlds, whole casts of characters, whole scenarios – and no-one can argue with you, or refuse to obey. You are responsible for your entire created universe, and the task is to make it perhaps more coherent than the real one.
- You are living two lives for the price of one. Your real world, which you experience from day to day, and your created world. When one gets difficult or tedious, you can leave it and slip into the other. When that becomes irksome you slip back again. What a wonderful method of dealing with life’s challenges.
- You are never lonely. Yes, it’s a solitary occupation, but you are surrounded by all those extraordinary people in your head. And since you are dictating what they may say or do, they aren’t nearly as frustrating as real ones. Too annoying? Give them the sack. Utterly fascinating? Stay with them all day. Totally hateful? Kill them off. Now that’s real omnipotence.
- Another huge aspect of Job Satisfaction is that you can write whenever and wherever you wish. Want to take your laptop off to a Greek island and do it overlooking the sea with a glass of retsina beside you? Off you go. Work out your next chapter whilst riding your bike or sitting on the bus. Perfect opportunity. Think of a great idea in the middle of the night and want to get it down on paper? Nothing to stop you. How many other professions can say the same?
The only conditions for such independence are that you must have some sort of routine to ensure you don’t slack off, and that you keep up your health whilst doing it (of which more in future blogs).
So banish the despair, fight the lack of confidence, find the mojo. You have the best job in the world!