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Writing – Joy or Burden?

Some days I enjoy writing. Other days, I enjoy having written. There is a very real distinction between the two.

Some days, writing is an absolute joy. Time rockets past, with me completely lost in the creative moment. I’ve been known to laugh aloud or begin to weep at whatever notes or words have found their way to the page before me. On those days, writing is cathartic and exhilarating.

Other days, not so much. The looming specter of a commission or a publisher’s deadline can be a dark, dark cloud. My practiced procrastination skills only delay the inevitable. At some point, the hard work of writing must begin. I am happy again only when I have finished the assignment.

Why the difference? I honestly cannot say.

I suspect some of it has to do with writing what’s on one’s heart, versus writing on assignment. Then again, there have been plenty of writing assignments that have been joyful enough experiences for me to complete. Perhaps my own state of mind at the time has something to do with it. If I am consumed by anxiety or depressed by the state of the world, that is probably going to have an effect on my overall “Joyful Quotient ” (which tends to be pretty low most days any way). And sometimes, pouring out what’s on the heart can be a little painful.

Maybe I’m a little crazy. There’s always that possibility. But if I am, I don’t think I’m alone.

What about you? Is writing a joy or a burden? Or both?

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