Writing is like Fucking…

Posted by Cila Warncke

A portrait of the artist's desk

A portrait of the artist's desk

Writing for a Living: a Joy or a Chore? the Guardian asks, and famous novelists answer. Literary navel-gazing amuses me because nobody gives a goddamn what writers think about writing, apart from other writers. And they only to scroll through the words to see whose neurosis most closely match their own.

This, of course, writers know; our sense of forever shouting into the wind is what urges these uncoveted confessions. Our hopeless hope that someone, anyone, cares. I’m a novice in the holy order so my doorstep remains uncluttered by reporters enquiring on behalf of Guardian Books — so far. They will come, one day, and I will be ready. Poised like the kid at the back of the class, itchy-palmed, waiting for the one question I know the answer to.

Writing is an unsought compulsion. It is as financially unrewarding as a crack habit and twice as inexplicable. Joan Didion said writers are, “lonely and resistant rearrangers of things, anxious malcontents.” According to George Orwell we’re, “vain, selfish and lazy.” Guilty on all counts. And the punishment: daily frustration in pursuit of my greatest pleasure. “Writing is like fucking,” Hunter S Thompson noted, “It’s only fun for amatuers.”


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