Sunday, June 9, 2013

When Writing Loses Its Joy

Billy Coffey has an interesting guest post on Rachelle Gardner's blog: The One Thing Every Writer Needs

He writes:
Writing no longer brought me joy.

To admit that feels like a confession. Even a week later, I find I cannot not write those six words straight through. My pen stopped between “longer” and “brought.” My hand went to my forehead, as though I was trying to hide myself. Writing has become a pillar of my life over the years, just as much as family and faith. To have one of those pillars shake and buckle was not an easy thing to endure. Writing is what I do. In many ways, it’s who I am. To find the delight and purpose gone from it brought a sense of hollowness. . . 

There are few callings higher than that of a writer. We inspire through story. We remind others of truths that have defined humanity since the beginning. We provide a necessary break from the monotony of the everyday. We create worlds. The words we string together serve an invaluable function: They become a mirror the reader holds to himself. They show us not how we are so different from one another, but how we are so much the same.

Perhaps it is because that calling is so high that it is also so fraught with peril. Writing is not for the weak or timid. It requires courage to face the page every day. To send out queries that may not even be answered, to pour yourself into a story that may or may not be read, and to lay yourself bare to a world that may only reject you.

The full post is definitely worth reading. It is hard to keep pursuing any creative venture when the world rejects or ignores your years of effort. Why bother to keep at it? It is a question every artist must face on a regular basis, unless of course you are one of the blessed who has achieved worldly success. Perhaps even then one still asks the existential question of "Does what I do matter?" If the answer is "yes," than the only choice is to keep at it, whether the world ever notices or not. 

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