Last week I read a book and, in the acknowledgments, the author wrote, "I loved every second of writing this book." I nearly choked on my coffee. Every second? Really?
I love hiking. This picture is from Tumbledown Mountain here in Maine. You climb up, and there is this gorgeous pond. The hike up is hard. There are parts where you need to scramble. The day we hiked it, I wasn't wearing the best shoes and, frankly, my fitness level was not where it should be for such a hike. It was a hot day in July. On the way up, I sweat. And sweat. And sweat some more. At one point, my husband had to hold my foot on a rock and push my butt up. In short, parts of the hike were miserable. But I loved that hike. And not just for the swim in the pond at the top. Even though parts of it were awful, the net sum was enjoyment.
For me, writing is like hiking. Parts of it are a joy. Sometimes I hit my flow. But other times feel like scrambling up rocks with no one to push my butt. Just like hiking, there is a joy in the accomplishment: finishing a novel, turning in those revisions. Those are good feelings, but I do also love the process. I love the journey.
I like going on new hikes. I like not knowing exactly what's going to come my way. I like rounding a corner not knowing if I'm going to find a vista or a sudden switchback up a steep slope. I like this about writing, too. I'm not an outliner, so each writing session feels like an exploration. It's scary but exhilarating.
Maybe that author really meant it when she said she loved every second. Maybe it was just hyperbole. As for me, writing can be joyful, but it can also be a terrifying scramble. It can be a walk in the park or it can be an impossible section of trail.
I love writing, but I do not love every second of it. And that's okay with me.