The Writing Life Is Much Less Exciting Than You Think

To be a writer, one must be willing to put up with the psychic demands of actually writing. Authors on talk shows emphasize their thrilling moments of triumph, not the months and years of monotony and malaise that preceded those moments. Movies about writers seldom succeed because their actual life is so much less interesting than fictionalized versions. As Virginia Woolf observed, the sense of creativity that “bubbles so pleasantly in the beginning of a new book” always subsides. Then a new, steadier type of energy is called for. Toward the end, she concluded, “determination not to give in . . . keeps one at it more than anything.”

– Ralph Keyes, The Writer’s Book of Hope

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