Today I’m dogpaddling to keep my eyeballs above water. So I’ll let Harlan Coben explain how to be a great writer.
“I don’t like writing. I like having written.”
Ah, the paradox. I don’t know who originally said it — I’ve seen everyone from Ernest Hemingway to Dorothy Parker to Oscar Madison get credit for this quote — but I know that it is stunningly true.
Some of my writer colleagues scoff at such a bad-karma sentiment. They love writing. Writing, they say, is a privilege and a passion and delight. (I don’t like hanging out with these writers, by the way.) When this writer is lost in the beauty of his own words – when he or she is alone with their special characters and strange worlds – it is bliss. Writing is celestial. Writing is, in fact, godly.
But at the end of the day, if this dear writer has nothing to show for it – if there are no words on the page – sorry, no, you don’t feel blissful.