If you don’t enjoy your writing, then don’t write.

Seriously.

If you’re one of those people who likes to moan about what your writing is costing you, if you count every sacrifice you make for your craft like the universe owes you for the debt, if you believe your work is not worthwhile unless it is a great burden, causing you relentless personal and spiritual pain…

Then stop it. Stop writing!

Granted, we all have tough days. Days when we really would rather do something else, anything else, but we go and sit at our laptops, our desks or in our studios and plug away anyway. And yes, sometimes these tough days can last a week – sometimes many weeks. But like the crazy jogger who gets up at 4am in winter to go out in the rain, it’s not fun right at that moment, but you do it anyway, knowing that the high, the reward, is there for the taking once you get moving. Us writers, who know the high of writing, will push through the ‘cold mornings’ of our craft, knowing the result will be worth it if we persevere.

But if every day is a sacrifice for you, if every keystroke causes you ongoing suffering, if you seriously believe that great work is only achieved out of grievous trauma, then not only should you get out of writing, but you should piss off. We’re all sick of hearing you go on about it.

When your tortured artist life comes to a close, the only people who will celebrate your suffering are those who use you as a role model for their own martyrdom. Truly, the only person gaining reward from your pain is you and your own twisted sense of self-worth.

But, when the count of your days draws close to an end, if you discover that the days of enjoyment outweigh the days of struggle, regardless of the outcome of your work, is that not a life better lived?

In fact, it may just possible that:

“The days and nights wasted, doing nothing important, adding up to the favourite years.” – Jack Gilbert.

So, if writing causes you to live a life not worth living, then get off your high horse of ‘suffering for your art’ and do something else. Don’t hold your audience accountable for your decision to live in misery. That is your choice, not ours.

Get over yourself.

Walking Tree, days and nights wasted, enjoy

The days and nights wasted, doing nothing important