For me as a writer, there were times when, I was confident that writing is incredibly painful, almost torturous and most of all, I believed that it should be so.
I was not the only one who stuck to this conviction.
Countless articles and blogs describe how difficult the work of writing is.
Famous writers are, on a regular basis, confronted with the question of,
What rituals prepare them for the painful work at their desks.
A question that many writers are only too happy to answer.
Even Ernest Hemingway, a writer who rarely spoke of his writing habits, summed it up briefly,
There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
Another example is Thomas Mann, who projected his problems on literary alter egos.
For one whose civilian profession is writing, he came away miserable and slow. And whoever saw him had to conclude that a writer is a man who finds writing harder than all other professions.
In short, Writing is Suffering
And so I spent endless hours squeezing words onto the paper.
It was as if I wanted to climb a mountain without the proper gear.
I tormented and frustrated myself. On occasions I let myself set back a bit, but I wanted so much to reach the summit.
At some point, I wondered if this suffering was necessary. Did it have to be so complicated? Wasn’t there another way to write? And anyway,
Where does the conviction come from that writing is a painstaking drudgery?
It goes back to the artist’s romantic conception as a melancholy, suffering genius.
A man who lives only for art is one with his work. An unaddressed outsider who can not or does not want to integrate into social structures.
Nobody understands him, although he expresses the Zeitgeist like no other. To create his work, not texts, essays, narratives, novels, but a great, whole life’s work.
It consumes him in lonely anguish, and only posterity can judge the work of its true greatness.
Creativity and Suffering Belong Together
This view influences our thinking and feeling to this day.
This inevitably results in writers striving for an unattainable ideal.
Their eyes focus on the horizon. Each word, compare to an unreal castle of the air, every sentence measured by the opus to come.
The more they doubt themselves and torture themselves, the better. After all, that is a characteristic of true artistry.
The literary history of the 19th and 20th centuries for instance,
It’s Littered With Whiskey Bottles and Nervous Breakdowns
Writing is a job like any other. On some days it is more comfortable, other days not so much.
But it should always give you pleasure. Joy, the pure joy of writing, of putting thoughts and ideas into words, word for word.
And so I start writing again. Another day, another headline.
Every day a new hike. Sometimes through beautiful fields and meadows. Sometimes over stony paths and sometimes on dirt trails.
But always with pleasure in the infinite possibilities of language. Still with heart and soul with that one text.
Maybe we can take Ernest Hemingway as an example. To circumnavigate the sufferings trap. The bestselling author has created his own writing myth.
As always, your comments mean a lot to me. I don’t see them merely as your feedback but rather as appreciation of my work.
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