Writing is a lot of work. It is a discipline, an exercise of the will. In order to write well, one has to write often. And it is this word ‘often’ that requires the discipline. There are few things that I like to do with such great frequency as ‘often’, even things that I love and am passionate about (and writing is definitely one of those things I am passionate about). There are always things that catch my eye and capture my imagination, things that demand to be written about, whether it be a running commentary or an element in one of my fiction works. But life has a way of taking up a lot of my time and attention, and so when I see these things that require setting to a page, I think, I’ll write about that later, and jot a note to myself to do just that. Later almost never arrives, and if it does, I can rarely remember just what was so urgent about that event that made it so important to put into words. Opportunities present themselves only in the luckiest of circumstances; they usually have to be made. ‘Often’ must be sought out specifically, and for me, this requires setting aside time each day to sit down and apply myself to the task of writing. It’s arduous work, finding just that right word, forming that encapsulating phrase, creating something pithy and memorable out of thin air. Writing is draining work, and it leaves me feeling tired and exhausted, my brain so much burned-out wiring and smoke. Yet, writing is also some of my most rewarding work, when I can sit back after the final draft and smile, because I know that the words I’m looking at are at least a close approximation of what I was thinking, of the picture I had in my head, of the vision I wanted to communicate. The cool satisfication of a job well-done quenches the fire raging inside me for a little while, even though I know that the crackling flames of that passion to write will again overtake me in a short while.
Writing is hard work, and I work at it often, hoping that it gives off a scent of worship that is pleasing to my God.