At the Read By The Sea festival on Saturday, each author was interviewed after reading from their recent work. Vincent Lam (The Headmaster's Wager) spoke about the hard work of writing, how most days it's a hard slog, how there are those wonderful but brief moments when it flows, when it feels easy. For the most part, however, it is hard work.
Writers do it because they love writing in spite of the hard work. The payoff is worth it.
I nodded my head as he spoke because I know what he was talking about.
And yesterday, I was thinking about what Vincent Lam said as I was working on the fifth draft of this week's column. I started with an event and wanted to write about it but it's linked to a big issue (logging) which leads to an even bigger issue (conservation of the environment) so I found myself writing away from my main point, whatever it was, whatever I was hoping it would be (sometimes writing is like that: you write yourself to the point).
It took four days to come up with the column, to make sense of the paragraphs being added, being taken out, to wait until that moment of "Eureka!" when the other half of the event gave me the wrap-around that made my point.
Four days of work, plus some tweaking today before putting in the paper. All worth it to say what I need to say and say it the way I want to say it.
Worth the hard work.
(I hope readers think so, too.)