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doing what you love

Recently I was on a panel of authors at the Deerfield Public Library (pics to come) and was asked why I love writing. The first thoughts that came to my head however were all the ways that writing is hard. The enormous mental energy it takes to get started some days. The recurring bouts of insecurity. The exhausting marathon that is revision. But even with those thoughts, there was never any doubt that I do love writing, so I've been wondering. How can that be? Well, I've come to realize that there are different ways we can love things. I love chocolate almonds. My feelings about chocolate almonds however are really different from writing. One is merely an immediate pleasure. It feels good in the moment but once I've finished the pleasure is gone. It doesn't sustain much longer than the time it takes to eat the snack. The pleasure from writing though, isn't always apparent in the moment, but the satisfaction of getting to know my characters, unknotting a tricky plot point or finishing a novel can stay with me for days or weeks. Writing isn't simply a pleasure. Its something much bigger than that.