“When asked if he found writing enjoyable, William Styron answered, ‘I certainly don’t. I get a fine, warm feeling when I’m doing well, but that pleasure is pretty much negated by the pain of getting started each day.'”
Sad. Getting started at something you’re good at, something that can give you a fine, warm feeling, ought not to be painful. Styron suffered a profound depression that probably would have impaired his enjoyment of anything else than writing, too.
Lots of writers seem to suffer in just that way, complaining of imperiously demanding blank pages and screens when their real antagonist is the prospect of a day to fill against a deficit of will. Styron drank heavily at night and slept late into the day, postponing the terror of daylight (as he saw it) as long as he could. That worked, for his writing if not for his general state of mind, until it didn’t.
Those of us who rise with the sun escape that particular problem, though other forms of procrastination may darken our days or threaten to block our light. In my experience, getting started is easy. That’s when the prospects are brightest, the fresh light clearest, the day ahead longest, the warm feeling finest.
And, because we usually don’t consider doomsday, we can almost always console ourselves on even our worst days with the promise of tomorrow. Until we can’t.
6 am/5:31, 68/98, 6:02
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