On LinkedIn, someone asked the question: is it time to dispel the myths that writing is ‘romantic’? I’m taking ‘romantic’ to be idealised…
Being a ‘writer’ is not simply having an amazing idea that the whole world will want to read (good luck with that one) but rewriting, changing, amending, revisiting and revamping to create something that someone, somewhere, wants to read. Wordcraft. That can be ‘romantic’ when the end result fits your vision.
The shaping and fashioning of work are, if we are honest, sheer acts of hard graft; it may feel extremely tedious. It is also, however, incredibly satisfying, even edifying to see something that looks right and reads well. Writing is ‘romantic’ in a way because generally, in the grand scheme of life, most work people write has limited appeal/use/lasting effect. It is, therefore, something of a luxury in the activity stakes. Editing can be the crucial tool for any writer.
That said, if you enjoy writing, you will always take an opportunity to write. You will write on the backs of envelopes, on cereal packets, on train tickets, on your note-taking app. Writing is less ‘romantic’ than compulsive. After a time without writing, I start to feel tetchy, unfulfilled, dissatisfied, and in need, which is why my holidays always involve taking books to read and paper to write on – oh, and a decent pen!