Writing is work, and writing is hard, and therefore, despite those who believe that writing is this lovely thing that happens magically when fairies sneeze or angels blink, or as the result of some other event that requires no effort whatsoever (these people tend to not be writers themselves), I sometimes need to remind myself of what I like about it. And so: three things I love about writing, with footnotes.
1. It’s a fabulous catharsis for dealing with people I don’t like. Killing off their literary doppelgangers is incredibly satisfying, even if I delete the scene right after I’ve written it.*
2. To quote Dorothy Parker, “I hate writing; I love having written.” To take that one step further, I love having written and realizing, hey, this is actually pretty good.**
3. I like telling stories.***
*Hmm. I should perhaps be alarmed that this was the first reason that popped in my mind.
**Granted, sometimes I need to wade through mounds of crap to get to such scenes. But they’re there.
***This is the simplest expression of what is actually a very complicated reason. I could expound on how I enjoy playing God (though if God feels like I often do when I’m trying to write, it’s just further confirmation that I would never, never never never, want to be God; and really, is it playing God when a solid three-fourths of your characters go off and decide to do their own thing?). I could wax rhapsodic on how I tend to process the world through writing^ and how it’s a means through which I explore and comment on what it means to be human. I could explain how I have all these ideas and people swirling around in my head, and the only way to free up brain space for things like, oh, sleeping and being a decent human being to friends, family, and coworkers is to write them out. All of that, and more, would be true. But it’s easier to just say “I like telling stories.” And as writers know, the simplest explanation is the best one. Except when it comes to footnotes.
^Which is a kinder way of stating my first reason, at least in part. I suppose I could have led with that. Oh well.