Warning: This is not a dirty post. I try to make sure it is as clean as possible. Read at your own risk!
No, this is not about sex. This is about why writing is like sex.
Yes, I know it sounds like I am writing more about sex but trust me, writing is very similar to sex and in many ways.
A famous quote:
“Writing is like sex. First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money.”
— Virginia Woolf
To be honest, the quote is rather true.
1. First you do it for love.
I am sure all writers love to write. This is why they become a writer in the first place. Would you do something that you don’t like? I love to write, so I become a writer. I might not be good at writing, but I know if I love to write, I can learn to write. If I don’t like writing, no matter how many writing lessons I attend, I won’t be able to write excellently.
Most of us have sex because we are in love. If we are not in love, we won’t be able to enjoy sex. Do you enjoy your sex life as much as you enjoy writing?
2. Then you do it for your friends.
Ok, this is not really related to sex. At least I don’t see how it is related.
Sure your friend would ask for your help from time to time. Whether it is to write a press release for their sites or whatever it is they need to be written, you would be their first person to call for help because of your talent in writing – and sometimes you do it for free.
3. Then you do it for money.
Yes, you can earn money as a writer, so why not? In fact, some writers are making so much money that everyone wants to follow their footsteps. Even I do.
However, you won’t be able to earn thousands of dollars on your first day as a writer. You will need to work your way up though.
Now, Virginia Woolf is not the only one who mentioned this.
[photo credit: MSNBC]
In fact Stephen King has something to say about it:
In writing as in sex, the best advice is to relax and let nature take her course.
This is also very true. Why?
The first thing to understand is that you can never force yourself to write something if you have no interest in writing at all.
I have a friend who is really bad at writing and no matter how she convinced herself to write, she can never write a paragraph of story properly because she is not interested in writing. When the English examination is around the corner, she had to ask me to teach her how to write for the sake of the exam. When the day came, she could answer the questions properly but for the essay part, she did rather badly. Still she managed to pass (barely made it). Since then, she no longer writes.
She told me, no matter what happen, she would not write again. I said to her that not everyone can write and writing is something natural. Some people were born to be writers while others were not.
So, if you are working on a short story, focus on it. There is no need to work your short story into a novel if you can never find the words and the will to write it out. Nature will work out everything for you, whether you should stick to writing short stories or working on a novel.
The key is you have to love writing in order to be a good writer. The same as you have to be in love to totally enjoy sex with someone you love.