Friday, May 25, 2018

Capon on writing

If writing wasn’t fun, I wouldn’t be doing it. Not for one years out of my twenty-five as a money-earning writer did I ever make a living out of it. If I were in it for the money, I would have gotten out of it long ago. But I didn’t. And not because writing is such unadulterated fun that every day I find myself chafing at the bit to head for my desk and romp my way through page after page of deathless prose. As I said, every vocation-avocation has its share of drudgery, and writing is no exception. There are, of course, days and even weeks when it goes well. But there are more that don’t: blank pages or blank computer screens are very blank indeed. Beginning a book can be hell; and writing a proposal for a book (writing about what you are going to write – which is not writing at all, but pure hot air) is the bottomless pit.

I have been in and out of the business of writing food pieces for magazines and newspapers; in, because editors like my work; and out, because those same editors moved on to other things. (You learn one thing as a professional writer: you may think you have a dependable relationship with, say the Times or Redbook; but when your editor leaves, the relationship disappears.

Pages 146/7 of Robert Farrar Capon's book, Health, Money, and Love and why we don’t enjoy them.
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