I read a post on a blog yesterday about whether or not writing was fun. The premise was that a person (whose name was changed to protect the innocent) enjoyed making up stories and imagining different worlds, but hated writing. They felt that all the joy went out of the story-making when they sat down to write. The author of the post was replying to this person, and said that this is a common ailment among those who call themselves writers; they even quoted Nicholas Sparks, a best-selling author, who said that he does not enjoy writing and it isn't fun when he's doing it. Of course, he likes the finished product, but he looks at writing as "going to work." The writer of the blog concluded that writers-who-are-not-fond-of-writing is perfectly normal and reasonable.
Now, at this point I'll interject to say that I have not read much of the aforementioned blog, and if anyone recognizes the post I'm talking about, please don't think I'm ridiculing the writer. These are just my thoughts on the subject.
My question is, can one be a writer without enjoying writing?
The idea seems to be incongruous. While I will concede wholeheartedly that writing is not always fun, and we all know about those times where we just slog through, waiting for the plot to get easier, this is not the normal situation of a writer. After all, what is a writer? Easy: it's someone who writes. A writer is not someone who makes up stories and then transfers them to paper, but is someone who creates stories with words. Making a straight separation between imagination and work is incorrect. They overlap and intertwine. You don't abandon imagination when you sit down at the computer, nor do you leave off work when you lie in bed thinking about your epic plot; they both make up the art of writing.
So, a writer writes, and a writer should write because there is enjoyment in the writing. There is simply too much uncertainty about the business for one to write for any other reason; there is no assurance that you will be able to get published and make money, and there isn't any fame to be had unless you can do that. Granted, the ability to pay one's bills is certainly incentive to write; granted, for those dependent on their writing to bring income, writing is work; granted, sometimes the joy is lacking from scribbling. These are all true, but at the heart of the matter, writers write because they love creating and capturing things with words - the same way painters love capturing beauty with paint, or musicians love capturing beauty in music.