Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Is Writing Fun?

What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure. - Samuel Johnson

Yesterday I introduced my daughter to the pleasure that is The Manhattan Transfer. About a million years ago, when I was in high school, I participated in jazz choir and discovered that this musical group was about far more than "The Boy from New York City".

As I washed dished and DD dried them, I sang "A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square" and she thought it was great, so we came downstairs to listen to some music on the computer.

While we listened, and she danced around to "Trickle, Trickle", I did a bit of work responding to some posts on a writing message board.

After watching me for a bit, she said, "Mommy, you know what I want to be when I grow up?"

"A singer?" It seemed logical, considering what we were doing.

"No. An artist." She sighed and pointed to some of the pictures I have of hers on the wall. "I love to paint."

"Okay, that's wonderful." Always the encouraging mother.

"Do you love to write?"

It was as though a gong sounded and the walls dropped in around me. A spotlight came up and shone on me while all other lights dimmed. A voice from above boomed, "DO YOU LOVE TO WRITE?"

I gulped and tried to think of an honest reply. "Sometimes." The word came out as a squeak -- would lightening strike?

"Only sometimes?"

Feeling a little more confident now, I sat up straight and said, "Well, yes. Sometimes it's really hard work. Sometimes I want to scream and throw the computer out the window and never write again. Some days the words won't come or the story is hopeless. Sometimes I just can't get it right, no matter how hard I try."

"Then why do you do it?"

"Because sometimes there is joy in the words. And sometimes my characters are my friends and I want to see what happens to them. And some days you struggle through the difficulties and the words just tumble from your fingers and it's a high like no drug could ever give you."

"Oh. So you love writing."

Well, yeah. I suppose I do.


anno said...

What an important lesson -- that enjoyment is important, but so is the willingness to work through your struggles. Nice work!

Judy said...

from the mouths of kids... ya gotta love 'em! you need to dedicate your first published novel to that little fount of wisdom... and maybe so do I!!

Tori Lennox said...

You've got a very wise young lady there. :)

jmgcsulk - jumping monkeys go circuitously stomping under lazy kangaroos

Allie Boniface said...

Ha! Out of the mouths of babes, right?