Monday, May 25, 2015

Writing is Hard and other Duh Observations...

I noticed something a while ago about all my writer friends. Practically all of them painted too. And the few who claimed no visual artistic ability had an obvious talent with the aesthetic. Their homes are beautiful, their dress sense impeccable. That sort of thing.

Perhaps it's a coincidence?

We writers hate coincidences.

We visual artists are less bothered.

Maybe it's just the writers I hang out with. 

But, when I spotted this interview with Sara Baume a few months ago I was delighted. Before her sudden rise to literary fame, she had studied Fine Art in IADT. A girl after my own heart and another for my writer/painter list.

I eagerly clicked through to read all about her writing/artistic life.

What struck me in the end was something else, related but different, that she said... I'll quote her..."After the second book, I’d really like to get a studio again and make art again. I actually hate writing; it’s really hard."

"I actually hate writing; it's really hard."

This just resounded with me.

Because I feel that way too. Though hate is probably too strong a word. Where my painting/drawing is a restorative process, I become relaxed and consumed by it. Writing on the other hand is more like a difficult pregnancy. It is long, and exhausting. It drains me of nutrients and energy and it's labour is excruciating.

But you know, I have four children. And the love I feel for them is immeasurable. I willingly, with open eyes, endured those horrid nine months repeatedly.

And that is also how I feel about my literary offspring. Washed and new and swaddled, I look at my newly created sentences and paragraphs and am delighted. I can barely believe I had a hand in their creation. It has been so worth it. And though I may mutter, 'never again', I know I will.

Perhaps this is why so many of my writer friends are artists too? We need that flip side to recharge while still creating. I know, now, as my words daily divide and increase, growing into a potential new book, that the long hard road begins again.

And it doesn't yet fill me with joy.

But like all the other times, I'll do it anyway.


Anonymous said...

Great piece Triona! I totally agree with the difficult process of writing!

Niamh B said...

So true - I think I mistakenly went into writing from visual art with the stoopid idea that it would be easier - as you don't need special paints or paper, less muss, less fuss, but guess what - instead of that you have to rip open your heart and bleed your brain's contents out through your eyeballs - ok maybe not exactly my process but I'm prone to exaggeration today!!

Tríona said...

Niamh, yes, and that's after you have to make yourself sit down at the keyboard...