Can it really be that bad?

“Given that the act of writing provokes such misery, why do you do it? – here is the writer’s perennial riddle.” — Joyce Carol Oates.

The Guardian rounds up some interesting solutions to that riddle from big names. Interestingly, none of the respondents compares writing to any other job. Is writing harder than working in a call center, supermarket or farm? Let’s put writing on a scale a bit more objective than “Writing for money isn’t as fun as the paradise I thought it would be.” Two compare it — in terms of difficulty and pleasure — to sex:

…To use a not ridiculous analogy: Sex = nice thing. Sex For Cash = probably less fun…

I gain nothing but pleasure from writing fiction; short stories are foreplay, novellas are heavy petting – but novels are the full monte.

Tony Bennett’s stock reply to interviewers who asked him whether he got tired of singing “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” was to ask them if they ever got tired of making love it. Finally, one replied, “No, but I do get tired from it.”

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