The Joyful Process of Writing

Paul Harding, Pulitzer-prize winning author of Tinkers, revealed in The Writer, December 2013, p. 31, tip #9, that his writing process is complicated and messy. Yet he revels in writing and rewriting every sentence at least a dozen different ways.He advises students to focus on the writing itself—not publication, not readers. 

This advice to writers to focus on the writing rather than publication or readers resonates with me. Over the decades I have found immense joy in the commitment to writing stories. The rewriting process may be, at times, tedious but there is an underlying joy when it comes out better, and the characters stop whispering in my ear. I have written without real consideration that any of my stories would be published until recently. The stories I am readying for publication are only “ready” because I concentrated on the writing of them first; I committed to getting them on paper or screen in the best condition possible and then I recognized that someone else should look at them and guide me to rewrite yet again, and again. I am proud of the stories I have written and will write because it is the writing of them which brings me joy.

Do you find joy in your writing or is it a chore?

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