“Basically, it’s fun”

A couple of months ago the New York Times published an interview with writer Haruki Murakami. It was a fascinating interview, because Murakami spoke frankly about writing in a way most writers don’t. Especially “literary” authors like himself.

The article is worth searching out if you have not read it.

What has remained with me the most over these last couple of months was Murakami’s answer to a question regarding the difficulty of the writing process. He jukes and jives a little in answering the question, but then lands on how his mind is at ease during the process, and that “basically, it’s fun.”

Any writer who has spoken to me about writing knows that “writing is fun” is my mantra. I’m not talking about finding the time to do it. Or figuring out the business end. Or querying agents. Or establishing a platform. Or participating in peer critiques. Or researching markets. Or any of the other crap. I’m talking about sitting down, and making shit up. Or even better, sitting down and recording all the cool shit your characters are doing.

Writing is NOT hard.

It is FUN.

Over and over and over I hear and read writers moan how it’s hard. It is NOT. It is play. And if you think it’s hard, spend some time next summer watching roofers work in the 90F+ heat. Spend some time at a hospital and watch a nurse pull a 16 hour shift. Consider boot camp for any of our military…or even harder, the tasks they may be asked to do to defend us.

The story that you are struggling over, and have for a year? Not hard. Finish it, and write another. I assume any fiction writer that has taken on writing has done so because they love a good story. Reading a good story is fun. Creating one is great fun. Don’t make it hard. Don’t make it special. Keep it fun.

Because, “basically” it is.

–TD

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