Worth Doing

penpaperI’ve always been suspicious of things that come too easily. It’s probably the way I was brought up. My grandparents from both sides were Scottish and had that dour Methodist philosophy of hard work and a slightly guilty conscience if you ever got too comfortable. I remember watching Scottish stand up comedian Billy Connolly once make a joke about the Scots eating breakfast standing up, just so that they don’t get too comfortable, and literally crying with laughter, because I remember breakfast at my grandparents house so well.

On the radio a couple of days ago, I was listening to an interviewer talking to the lead actor James Nesbitt from the new British TV drama Missing on the complexities of the show, and how it goes to hard places and doesn’t flinch away. He asked Nesbitt if playing the main character, the flawed, deeply troubled father of a son who has gone missing, was difficult, and Nesbitt said yes, of course it was difficult, but the difficulty was also the privilege and I had one of those “YES” moments, where the way I thought accorded perfectly with someone elses.

Because I have to be honest, I find writing very hard work. I find telling stories the way I want to tell them, and adding the meaning I want to them, and exploring the characters the way I think they should be explored, to be the hardest job I’ve ever had. Dorothy Parker’s quote

‘I hate writing. I love having written.’

Has always struck somewhat of a cord with me. I don’t hate writing, but sometimes I do, just a little bit. I don’t whine about it, ever, though, because just as James Nesbitt says, I think the difficult is part of the privilege. It is hard because it’s worth doing, and not much that is really worth doing comes easy.

There are plenty of other things that are worth doing that aren’t easy. Raising children. Holding firm to your principles. A thousand other things.

What hard things do you think are worth doing?

About Michelle Diener

Michelle Diener writes historical fiction and fantasy. To find out more about her and her novels, you can visit her website.
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6 Responses to Worth Doing

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    Michelle, this is an amazing post, and it strikes a very loud chord with me. I thought I was the only one. I know so many writers who are so much faster than I am. I sometimes obsess over words or the best way to write a scene. Yesterday, I did a big rewrite of a chapter, then I deleted the next one and started a new one with completely different people. It feels right to me, and I’m not sorry I did it. But I still keep hoping for easy… lol

  2. Thanks, Edie! I still keep hoping for easy, too 🙂 Maybe one day . . .

    I rewrite my work so often, sometimes it has been written four or five times before I think it’s ready. I can’t work any other way, so I’ve just come to accept it.

  3. Mary Hughes says:

    Hi, Michelle,

    I rewrite a lot of my stuff several times, and sometimes it comes out golden right away. I write because I have to. Because if I don’t, the pressure of the words build up until they practically explode, lol.

  4. Misty Evans says:

    Exercise! I enjoy yoga and taking the dogs for a walk, but any actual exercise seems like a chore. I like having exercised – the adrenaline, the endorphins, the better body feeling…I just don’t like the actual work required!!

    • LOL, Misty. Oh, so true. The only exercise I really love is walking, and so that’s pretty much all I do do, now. The rest of my family do taekwondo, and they want me to join in, but right now, there’s a schedule conflict, and I can’t say I’m sad about that 🙂

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