Opening a Vein: Why I Write

Last evening, I was taking part in The Red Dress Club’s Twitter Chat and my friend Cheryl tweeted this bit of wisdom…

…to which Denelle (who is a fabulous writer) replied…

Denelle’s tweets made me feel a bit sick inside…like I’m some kind of fraud.

Because if I want to call myself a writer, shouldn’t I want to write? Shouldn’t I have to write?

But I don’t. So I replied…

And as difficult as that is to admit to a group of writers that I admire, that is my truth.

I don’t love writing.

But oftentimes, I love the final product.

I don’t write because it feels good while I’m doing it.

I don’t write because I am compelled to.

I write because I often don’t know exactly what I’m thinking or feeling until I do.

Because I want my children to have these words…to know how central they were to my life.

I write in case I one day forget all of the joy this life has brought me.

But not because I enjoy it.

Because I really don’t.

How about you?



  1. Sherri

    Wow, I've never really thought about it! Sometimes, when I'm writing something, I just can't get it out. And I feel frustrated, or blocked.

    But I do love the end product, the discussion that ensues with commenters, and the feeling that I did it.

  2. C.Mom

    What an interesting discussion. Especially because you have such a gift in how you write. I do enjoy it…though my writing ends up being more rambling than skillful. Which makes me wonder if it is the act of spewing ideas that I enjoy more than the writing per se.

  3. Rachel

    I have never really thought about this…I think sometimes when I write a post venting about something…I feel SO much better afterwards. AND I agree with you that sometimes I need to write to figure out how I feel about something.

    Mostly, I love writing and laughing. If I can laugh at my own post…I know it was worth writing.

  4. I think writing is a whole lot of hard work, and generally I am a lazy person. So I tend to steer away from it, much like laundry. However that being said, I love to read, and I have an immense respect for those of you who write. The process will be unique for each individual. I am just so happy that you all make the effort. Me? I will stick to picture taking : )

  5. Kimberly

    You know what? I think you're on to something here. I don't really enjoy actually sitting and writing. In fact, getting started is the hardest part. But once I really get something articulated well, or I think it's crafted in a particularly perfect way, then it seems to have been worthwhile. Writing helps me sort things out…helps me untangle my emotions…and I thought I enjoyed it, but I don't enjoy the process. I enjoy the result.

  6. Jessica

    I really do like to write but I don't like to feel like I HAVE to write. Does that make sense? Writing has become a way of getting my feelings out and I love to be able to share the finished product and get a response but I don't like writing under pressure or feeling like there is something that I have to write but can't get it to come out the way I want it to.

  7. Cheryl @ Mommypants

    This post makes me sad.

    It's like hating painting but loving the picture. To me, it's about the journey as much as it is the destination.

    That's why I'm a writer.

    Otherwise, I'd be something else.

  8. I was a creative writing major on college and I always felt like I hated the actual process. 9 chances out of 10 I never knew what I was actually rambling on about or where it was going, but I followed it. I wanted to know where it was goin to lead an how it would end. I think too many people think writers know everything about their stories, when really, at least in my case, I know no more than the characters themselves. Which is a very hard place to be when you think you're the one in control.

    What an interesting topic! I loved that you pointed it out and were honest! Kudos to you for your bravery :)

  9. liz

    Wow, Nichole – I never would have guessed you didn't adore writing!

    I'm not a "writer" so I guess I don't feel any obligation towards it. If a post isn't working, I stop and write something different.

  10. ksluiter

    I also do not push myself through writing. If it's not working, I just quit. I can't make anything that is good if I push too hard.

    Depending on the topic, yes, I may have to push. Sometimes writing about the hard stuff requires I push.

    But as for most writing? I just do it because I love it. Not much pushing involved.

    I think if I was working on a big project or committing myself to telling my life story, I would have to push. But for now? with what I do? No push. Just flow.

    or not.

  11. Krista

    Hmm… I guess it depends. I push through writing at work because I have to, because there are deadlines and paychecks involved.

    But on the blog, and the writing I do for me? I like the writing too… I like the act of getting my thoughts and feelings on paper (or the screen), I like not knowing how I think or feel about something until I see it on the screen before me. I do love having the memories committed somewhere, that I can read over and reflect on weeks, months or years later. But the actual writing part, it gives me peace sometimes too.

    I'm shocked to hear that someone who does such beautiful things with words like you, doesn't love every second of it. Not that it's bad! I'm just so surprised. And sort of jealous because if I wrote like you do, I'd throw myself a little party every damn night. ;-)

  12. Nichole

    Part of what makes the writing so hard for me is that I want it to be perfect.
    I want it to speak to you.
    I want you to hear it as I feel it.
    Does that make sense?
    So, when I sit down to write, I have so much that I want to accomplish that it sometimes is so difficult.

    The final product and the discussions are such a lovely reward!

  13. Nichole

    Thank you so much for your kind words!
    I agonize over nearly every word that I write.
    Your writing is lovely…no spewing going on at all!

  14. Nichole

    You certainly always make me laugh!
    I love your posts, Rachel. :)

  15. Nichole

    If I could tell a story with a photo as you can? I would never write another word.
    One day I hope to have half the talent you have! Truly.

  16. Nichole

    Getting started is brutal!

    Writing is perfect for untangling emotions. I've written so many pieces that have helped me to clarify and regroup.
    The end result is amazing. Writing is cathartic in that way.

  17. Nichole

    Your writing appears so effortless, Jessica. I can't picture you struggling over a single word.
    I know that feeling of wanting to say something the perfect way. I have about 67 posts in draft that I can't get quite right! :)

  18. Nichole

    By the time I completed grad school, I was so burned out from writing.

    I love your description of the writing process…how you never really know where you're going to go.
    I envy those of you who can write fiction…so much!

    Thank you for reading and weighing in! I truly appreciate it!

  19. Nichole

    The smoke and mirrors are working, then! Yay! ;)

    You are a writer, though…don't sell yourself short, Liz!

  20. SquashedMom

    What an interesting discussion! Thinking about it, for me? Very complex question and answer. After a childhood of wanting to be a writer, and working at it sporadically in college, I then spent years… actually decades as a "blocked" writer, writing reams in my head but only jotting notes about it on scraps of paper, planning to write it all down "someday."

    And then I started blogging a little over a year ago, and found the writer in me set free. I LOVE how it feels when i'm writing and it's just flowing out of me and I can't type fast enough to keep up. I even love how it feels to then go over it and edit that and change words, make different choices just to see what happens.

    What I hate is that sometimes i still find it hard to start, to let myself go into the writer space. I can keep myself from it for days even though I need it so. And sometimes it's just not flowing, yet the blank screen is there and I feel a need to put something new up on the blog. That's usually when I whine in public (the posts I call "whiny rants"). Now, granted they are usually funny, too, but they are not fun to write.

    Also while I talk about it feeling "good" to write, the posts all about my father's dying I was weeping while writing to the point I was afraid I was going to short out the keyboard. So they felt good as in cathartic, but very painful to write, but painful in a good way. Make sense?

    OK sorry about this really long answer, but you've really hit a nerve here.

  21. I enjoy the process, but I have to push myself to make it a priority. (For example, I probably won't do my #TRDC post until tomorrow night, because Ryan is going out, and I'll have the house to myself for a couple hours after bedtime.) For me, it helps me to figure things out, to work through my thoughts on paper.

    It only becomes a struggle when I have something in my head and can't get it out correctly.

    I am a little surprised that you find it a struggle. Your finished product is extraordinary. I admire you for sticking with it, because you are truly leaving a gift for your readers and (more importantly) for your family.

  22. Nichole

    I'm trying to understand what it is exactly that you're saying.

    The fact that it doesn't come easily to me doesn't make it any less important.
    It doesn't make what I feel when I hit publish any less magical.

    It just means that the journey isn't easy.
    And I'm okay with that.

    That it isn't easy for me doesn't make me less of a writer.

    Because the fact that I do it, despite it being tough, is something of which I'm quite proud.

  23. Sherri

    I feel like I always want it to be perfect, too.
    I want people to feel the way I do about whatever I'm writing about.
    I totally get this, I do.

  24. galitbreen

    This is so interesting Nichole! And such a thoughtful (and do I daresay brave?) conversation!

    I would have never guessed that you don't love writing- because your product is gorgeous, yes. But also because you take such care in your words, your site, your writing relationships. These all feel well taken care of, nurtured even.

    I do understand the pressure to create the perfect tone and feeling and how that can sour the process.

    I love what you did here- opened up, created a space for writers to understand each other just a bit more. Genius, lovely. That's you! XO

  25. TheJackB

    I cannot imagine not writing. It would be like cutting off my legs. Most of the time I don't struggle but even when I do I push through it. There is joy in the journey and the process.

  26. Alex@LateEnough.

    S writing breaks me open, and that hurts.
    I'm also compelled to write, which is tiring.
    And I push myself all the time. If I don't push, I don't know what I can and can't do; I'll only know what I won't do.
    Overall, I love writing more than most things in life including bagels.
    I don't think anyone's process is right. But knowing and owning your process is fundamental.

  27. @jennyfeldon

    what a fascinating post…I have to admit, I never thought much about it before. For me, writing is like breathing. I write more easily than I speak, more clearly than I think. The whole world disappears when I write. I stop hearing, I stop seeing anything but the screen in front of me and the keys beneath my fingers. Sometimes the worst part is having to finish, giving up the process for the sake of the final product. i even hate the words "final product" because they imply that there is such a thing, that the work is finished, when I never really feel that way about anything I write. It's never finished. It's always part of a process. And, too, it's always part of a bigger picture, a small piece of a great big *something* I'm trying to say….
    I totally agree with Nichole that writing is like opening a vein. Writing hurts, sometimes a lot. Maybe because, for me, it's the most real form of expression I have? The rest of the time I can paint pretty pictures and dance around the tough stuff, but when I'm writing (fiction or nonfiction) it's as close as it ever gets to truth. Also, I agree with Cheryl that pushing through when inspiration is lacking is an important part of the process. I stare at a blank screen all the time. If I gave up then the real magic would never happen.

  28. Nichole

    Thank you…somehow I knew that you'd get what I was saying. :)

  29. Nichole

    There are times when I want so desperately to put into words an idea that I can't find the right way to articulate and it makes me crazy.

    For me, the hard stuff is the easiest stuff to write. The post about forgiving my dad's murderer, I wrote in 20 minutes. It just needed to be told. The tough ones are easy, if that makes any sense.

    That writing doesn't come easy doesn't make it not worth it. When I look over all that I've written over the past year, it brings me tremendous joy.

  30. Nichole

    Firstly, thank you so much for your kind words, Krista. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

    I usually really love my final products and I feel more pride than I can express.

    As much as it hurts to do it, I can't imagine *not* writing…not for the process, but for the sense of accomplishment that I get from publishing and getting feedback.

    You should throw that party every night, because you are a lovely writer! So lovely.

  31. Nichole

    Perhaps I should have clarified…the starting is the hardest part. Always.

    But sometimes, that fog clears and I am enveloped.
    But sometimes, it doesn't. It just doesn't, as much as I will it to.

    Pain is my biggest muse. Honestly, some of my favorite posts are birthed from pain. Those pieces have helped to heal me in a way that talking never could.

    So while I don't always enjoy the process, I am grateful to be a writer. I don't take it for granted.

    It's just that sometimes I'd rather be tweeting, watching tv, or washing my hair. ;)

  32. Nichole

    There's nothing more motivating as a quiet house!
    So many times, I have thoughts in my head, but can't figure out how to get them into words.

    Thank you for your amazingly kind words. That it looks effortless is the most wonderful compliment. :)

  33. Nichole

    I love the community of writing…I love this space that I've created and appreciate everyone who comes here to read my words.

    Maybe the fact that the process is difficult is what makes the feedback even more wonderful. Does that make sense?

    It makes it worth it.

    I wouldn't do anything else, either. As tough as it is for me, I feel so much joy and pride when I reread my work. That final product makes me feel fulfilled, as corny as that probably sounds.

    Thank you for reading, Galit, and for leaving your wonderful words here for me. Much love to you…

  34. Nichole

    I cannot imagine not writing either, even though the process is tougher for me than it is for you.

    For me, the joy lies in pushing myself…knowing that even though it was tough, I did it, and in the final product.

    I love knowing that I made something from nothing when what i would rather do is read or watch tv or anything else, for that matter. :)

  35. Nichole

    This right here is perfection: "If I don't push, I don't know what I can and can't do; I'll only know what I won't do."

    Truly…I could not have said it better!
    Thank you for that.

  36. Nichole

    I've been writing for so long now, Jenny, that I honestly don't know anything else.

    I can't count the times when I've wanted to do absolutely anything other than write.
    I also can't count the times when the collection of my words has brought me to tears. Happy tears.

    I'm okay with the fact that it isn't easy.
    Anything worth having is worth fighting for…(Thomas Jefferson, I think?)

    Thank you so much for coming by and weighing in…I truly appreciate it. :)

  37. DadStreet

    I still don't call myself a writer even though I blog almost daily on one site or another. When I don't feel like writing, I don't. Writing for me is a passion. I find pleasure in writing. It's the perfect synergy between two loves I have; philosophy and sharing.

    For purposes of this discussion, I think we need to understand who's answering. If someone is paying me to write something then I push through, if need be. If I'm not being compensated or haven't made any other commitment to a deadline there is no pushing through. For to force myself into a vehicle in which I find pleasure would be to drive myself off a cliff.

  38. Erin

    I don't consider myself a writer in any sense of the word, but I agree with you. I want it to be perfect, I want it to flow through you (the reader) like it did me. A lot of times I don't write what I think or feel or even see, because as I was just discussing the other day with Stephanie, I have been told I have been blessed with the depressed word. Meaning a lot of what I write seems so depressing. I don't want to make it seem that way, but I know no other way to write. So I tend not to write as much as I would like, but feel like I have to push through to write something inspiring and beautiful. If that even remotely makes sense! =)

  39. Tracie

    I am SO glad that you wrote this….because I feel the exact same way (and thought it was just me!)

    The end product is worth the process, for me, but the process is hard!

  40. TheGroceryDad

    Writing is like an addiction of mine. Sometimes I have to push it through, but sometimes it just flows. For me writing is all about the ideas. I love the process, but I love the end product even more!

  41. This post deserves more words than I have the patience to type (darn iPad/hospital bed). I agree 100% with you. I love the stuff inspired by pain or raging hormones….the stuff that just pours out.

  42. Crud. Half my comment got cut off. Just know I'm thinking about you a lot these days!

  43. C.C. Chapman

    I love to write, but like you said some days are harder than others and I know when I was writing my book there were certainly days where I did it because I had to rather than wanting to.

  44. Kir

    only lately have I felt what I refer to as "the passion" to write. It was something I read from Erin (Margolin) when she was moving her blog etc and she was talking about the "NEED" she has everyday to put something on paper. I remember reading it and thinking "that's NOT me" , I do it when I feel like it etc. Plus I was always under the impression that If I wrote, I must hit publish, I must put it on paper…and that's not true for me. I write every day, in my head, most times on paper, I don't always hit publish…I don't always share it with all of you, but I am finding that I do "need" to write. It's better than therapy, it's better than holding it all in, it's better than oreos.

    I don't know which side I am really on…I don't know if I push through, some stuff sure, the hard stuff, but the others no it just comes, I do better with prompts ….but I also know that writing from where I am, about what I know just spills.
    This will give me a lot to think about this weekend. Hmmm.

  45. i usually do enjoy writing… but that doesn't mean i don't have to push myself to do it. I most definitely have to push myself… maybe even more than 75% of the time. These days I feel like it's nearly impossible to get a good piece of writing to come out of me. But, that's ok. I think. It ebbs and flows.

  46. Nicole

    I write because the paper (or computer) doesn't judge. I like to SEE my words, rather then spit them out where there is no backspace:-)

  47. I write because the paper (or computer) doesn't judge. I like to SEE my words, rather then spit them out where there is no backspace:-)

  48. Nichole

    I wonder why we put so many stipulations on what it means to be a "writer."

    I had so many of my Freshman Comp students tell me that they weren't writers…that English wasn't their thing.
    And it always made me crazy, because I think that we are all too hard on ourselves, myself included.

    If you sit down and you put words to paper, or screen, or sidewalk, for that matter, and you convey meaning, you are a writer.

    Now, we're all at different places on the continuum, but we are writers. We can all improve and we all bring different skills to the table, but we're writers.

    And yes, if someone is paying me, you can bet I'm going to push through! ;)

    But you know what's funny, Josh? The joy I feel from having written here on in these small moments far surpasses anything else I've written.

  49. Nichole

    Yes, I fear that I've been "blessed" with the depressed word, too. Or perhaps the melancholy or nostalgic word.
    I so often wish I was funny or clever writer, but I'm not.

    Like you, that's my default writing. I am trying, because I think that it's important to push myself, but it's so difficult to step outside of my box.

    So, yes, your comment makes perfect sense. :)

  50. Nichole

    Phew…you have made me feel much better.
    For me, the struggle is so much a part of the process…knowing that I don't necessarily want to sit and write, but I do it anyway, makes the end result so much sweeter. And it makes me feel better about myself, that I did what I needed to do. I love that part.

  51. Nichole

    You know what's funny?

    I've never even considered my writing as an addiction. But, I wonder what I would feel if I just stopped. Would I miss it? Would I feel compelled to write? Probably.

    Because while I may not be addicted to the process, I suspect that I am very much addicted to the product and the way it feels to think about something in a new way.

  52. Nichole

    The fact that you are leaving a comment here so soon after having you sweet baby boy makes me feel so loved!
    Yes, the writing inspired by pain and raging hormones is sometimes the best stuff.

    I miss you and cannot wait to hear the baby details and see some pictures!
    Much love…

  53. Nichole

    It's tough to imagine having the discipline to sit and write a publishable book.
    Your book looks so interesting. How gratifying it must be to push through and see your dream come to fruition.
    Congrats on that! :)

  54. Nichole

    I love that you're on neither side…because I think that we're all more similar than we realize. This isn't a black or white thing at all.

    I'm finding it tougher to write to prompts lately. I sit down to write and it feels forced. I have far too many drafts just sitting there. I need to work through this!

  55. Nichole

    You are so right, Grace. It really does ebb and flow.
    There are times when I sit down and happily write something and it comes out perfectly.
    Then, there are times when it is just painful.
    Both are okay…both are just part of the process. :)

  56. Nichole

    I love that when writing, I can edit, because like you, I am sometimes guilty of speaking before thinking.
    I also know that I am more articulate in writing. :)

  57. Nichole

    I have some of those moments, when the writing is effortless and the words just pour out, but that is certainly not the norm.

    I like what you said about always loving the end product, even when you don't knock it out of the park. I love that.
    I feel similarly…I love that I did it. I love that I have something to show for my effort and perseverance.

  58. What a fantastic post and an interesting topic. I love the metaphor you used, "opening a vein." That resonates wit me. A lot. I love writing sometimes. Sometimes I itch to get a story down on paper. Other times, I really have to push myself and it doesn't always feel good. I love your honesty. I love the way you write. And I love this conversation you opened. I went to graduate school in creative writing and I miss these talks with other writers about the process of writing. It's nice to remember that you aren't alone.

  59. julie gardner

    So I won't be the first person to tell you that when I read your words, I believe you love to write; and for that reason, this post surprised me, even as I understood it.

    I wanted to respond last night; then thought I'd sit with it and think.
    You know. To work up something meaningful in my brain.


    I will tell you, however, that as much as I love the end result of writing (and I do. I love the moments AFTER I've written) I sometimes feel like it's an obligation. A burden rather than a blessing.

    So I get what you mean. It's not effortless. Writing (when you care to write well) is hard hard hard. But I think anything you wish to do to the BEST of your ability is a challenge.

    I sometimes approach new projects with dread. A blank page is daunting.
    But I keep coming back for more. I either love it or I am a masochist.

    Maybe a little bit of both…..

  60. Jen Has A Pen

    Holy number of comments!!! You struck a nerve with this one. ;-)

    I was super surprised to read this. You write with SUCH passion that I was shocked to learn it wasn't something you craved. I crave it, love it, need it…. BUT, can get a bit stressed if I feel like it's a requirement. I adore all TRDC prompts, but do them in moderation so it doesn't feel too much like a "have to". Plus, I also go in spurts. Sometimes I can't sleep I have so much to say, and sometimes I can't come up with anything good for weeks.

    Regardless of the reasons you write, selfishly I'm glad you just hammer through it. I like to read your stuff…. Reason enough right? ;-)

  61. Melanie

    I write because I love it. It's a passion for me. I am one of those writers who crave it. Yet, I am not always so disciplined to do it. Life gets in the way; I get lazy. Isn't it sad to treat the thing you love to do this way?

    There are moments when I feel ashamed. It's like neglecting the one you love the most because you're scatterbrained or just plain distracted with other things. So my writing doesn't get its due, and the quality (or quantity) of it suffers.

    For someone who doesn't love to write 75% of the time, I admire how prolific you are with it. Puts me to shame, the one who loves and craves writing so much. But there's hope for me – because I can look at you and what you do and be encouraged. If you can produce writing – most times when you're not loving it, then I can do it too.

    You are such an encouragement. Thanks for your honesty and vulnerability.

  62. @SaidKristin

    I write because I honestly love it. I feel it's my best expression of self and it helps me convey things I don't otherwise feel I would articulate very well. If my best expression of self was through art or music, then I would pursue it as a hobby instead. But the ability to write and write well is the talent – the gift – that God chose to give me. I recognize that and treasure it.

    As for pushing through when I'm not feeling inspired, sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. When I do, I'm always happy with the finished product. And when I don't, I cut myself a break and enjoy the "time off." So, I can see both sides of the coin there.

  63. Elaine

    I think everyone has their different reasons and ways of writing. That's why it's awesome. I do love to write BECAUSE I like the end result. Usually. Even if it isn't "the" best writing ever, it's mine and only mine and it's a great outlet for me.

    This is very interesting, both the tweets and your take on it. Love your honestly Nichole.

  64. I do not think I have an exact answer. Writing is sometimes like a chore for me. I have made a commitment to do some writing, and sometimes the process is tough. Other times, writing is a release and it flows right out of me.
    But what I enjoy most, I am realizing now, I write in hopes that someone else will read it….and react.
    Getting really honest here….since joining TRDC, I am enjoying writing more, and I know it is because I hope I have an audience. I am terrible about checking for comments and I am really let down when I see someone read and left no comment.

  65. ksluiter

    I completely agree that just because it is hard sometimes doesn't make it less worth it.

    There are things that I HATED the process of writing, but usually? Those are my favorite pieces that I have penned.

    Sometimes the bigger the struggle, the more happy I am with the product.

  66. Kristy

    "I write because I often don’t know exactly what I’m thinking or feeling until I do.

    Because I want my children to have these words…to know how central they were to my life.

    I write in case I one day forget all of the joy this life has brought me."

    These are also big reasons for why I write too. Sometimes I enjoy it and have fun with it, but I find those times to be a little more rare. But that is what keeps me coming back for more! It is work. Work that I love.

  67. erin margolin

    I write because there's a voice within me that will not be still. That's a famous person's quote, can't remember whose it is.

    I love to write when I'm in that zone. But I can't force it. It's complicated for sure, sometimes a push/pull. But I can't force it, like you said. When it feels like a chore, I don't do it.

    This was wonderfully thought provoking, Nichole. :Loved how you incorporated the tweets in here, too.


  68. BalancingMama

    I do enjoy it, but my writing is not up to par with some of these TRDC pros. I don't agonize over it. I don't edit for days. I write when I have an idea that feels good to follow through. I don't join prompts when I can't feel a good, enjoyable writing session. My blog is my "me" time. Sure, it would be nice to earn an income from what I love… but not if it means I can no longer love it.
    -Julie (3MomsIn1)

  69. Nichole, I'm here from The Lady Bloggers Club. There are some days where I am just not in the mood. Writing. Meh! But there are other days where I get seven ideas while I am in the shower. I try to write 2,000 words every day. That doesn't mean they are all fabulous words, but I look at it like this: I don't always have the best workout at the gym. But I keep going. Not every day is magic. Sometimes writing actually sucks, but I guess I figure if I stop (like going to the gym) something bad will happen.

    Come visit me! ;-) Great topic!

  70. I agree with several of the comments – I'm surprised you feel this way. I never would've guessed it. I guess for me writing is a love/hate relationship. Sometimes I love to sit down and write and feel great while I'm doing it, other days I agree – it is difficult and forced (if that's even the right word). Very brave post!

  71. I was never did well in English class and writing it painful for me at times. It doesn't come naturally to me but what you said, "I love the final product", that's how I feel. It may take me a day or two to write one post {see why it's painful?} but I love being able to get feelings out or start a discussion and getting feedback. And like you I'm hoping one day my boys will have this to read…to know me a little more.

  72. Even people who really love writing sometimes have to push themselves to write.


  73. Well, I'm late on this (catching up on your blog, which I adore), and I'm surprised. You have such a gift that it threw me to learn you don't enjoy the process. Most people who write as well as you write do enjoy that part. But it's certainly not any kind of requirement to call yourself a writer. And you DO love the end result – figuring out your feelings, documenting important moments – and that's important, too.

    For myself, I love the process, from initial idea to polishing it up. But I'm a writer by profession, and that's the reason I got into it: It was something I had a talent for and enjoyed, so I figured I ought to try to make a living off of it somehow.

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