Oh, yes it is. One year I wrote eleven novels, all of them already under contract to large NYC publishing houses before I even wrote them.
People told me, “Wow. It must be nice, just lazing around doing some writing, and getting buckets of money for it. What an easy life!”
More accurately, somebody once said that sure, writing is easy. Just sit and stare at a blank page until beads of blood appear on your forehead. (Now, you stare at a blank Microsoft Word editing screen….)
Even in those days, every day, every single day (and I did write every day, even the weekends), I had to force myself to go sit down in front of the computer and produce the work – or, as Stephen Pressfield puts it in his wonderful book, “Do the Work.”
I let my guard down once, for a few days after a fit of depression when my novel “Inner Circles” was shopped around NYC and turned down with general comments to the effect, “It’s a wonderfully written book, but we have no idea how to market it.” (Yes, kiddies, that’s how these decisions get made. Shakespeare would be self-publishing in these times.) That was back in 2003. Now, eight years later, I am drawing near to completing the first draft of my first full length novel since I began that “short break.”
You have to fight it ever single day. Right now, as I type this (it’s 9:17 of a Monday morning here in San Francisco), I am aware that the book is sitting on a screen in my office upstairs, waiting for me to come up there and add five pages to it. And I don’t want to. In fact, I’d rather do almost anything that go there and do that. Even write this post bitching about how much I hate writing.
And I do. I hate writing. So, why do I do it, other than the money, which isn’t all that great? Because I absolutely love having written.