I think about this, and how true it is ... a lot.
Writing is hard and often thankless and stressful and frustrating work (I was going to specify and say for indies, but I think it's true for all writers, so ignored that impulse).
Creating something from nothing, much less something worth reading, something worth writing and reading, is slogging uphill all day, every day. But sometimes we produce a story (or a part of a story) that says something interesting or beautiful in a way that hasn't been done before, and that makes the piles of waste-words littering the floor and you brain worth it.
I love writing. I love the way it feels, even on the bad days, to reach around inside my head and feel for ways to put words together to express a feeling or paint an emotional picture.
I like this quote, but think that Nabakov's metaphor extends beyond the main character to entire stories. We write stories and then put them up a tree and throw rocks at them with the help of our beta-readers and editors, trying to find the weak points and fix/strengthen them.
It's a scary business writing stories, sharing thoughts and dreams and imaginings with the world outside your head.
It's a scary business editing stories, letting other people kill and maim your darlings, and then trying to put them back together (hoping that your ideas still come through, even when the words conveying them have been altered by someone else).
It's a scary business sharing stories, giving strangers an invitation to the way you mind works, and asking them to love or hate or ignore the words and ideas.
All of this is scary, but writers keep writing because stories are powerful magic. A string of letters, then words, then paragraphs, then pages, can change the world, or make an entirely new one.
Once the storytelling bug has bitten you, it's in your blood for the rest of your life, and while for some people it may lay dormant, for most it grows and grows in strength and volume and production with each story told.
I love to share stories ... I'm almost done work on the my next novel, have just submitted a story for an anthology that will be out in the next week, am working on a twitter novel (fun and silly), and am pushing on the next installments of a piece of serial fiction I've been having dreams about for a while.
Lots of stories, and as fast as they come, I have desperate hordes behind pushing for primacy, rattling the bars of my brain for egress and attention and their moment on the stage.
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