Dear Writing…


Dear Writing,

Don’t take this wrong, but, well… sometimes I really hate you.

For a start, you force me to get me up, every morning—way earlier than anyone in their right mind would want to get up, for something they don’t get paid to do. (And yeah, boo-hoo about that.) You make me sniff through the pile of clothes by my bed, get dressed, and drive to the coffee-shop, where I spend the next few hours in your company. You make me drink coffee, which stains my teeth and sends me slightly loopy, and has me running to the bogs within twenty minutes as I feel the entire contents of my guts about to drop. You make me sit down, which is bad for my health, apparently, and you make my back ache, as I become more and more engrossed in you, forgetting about the importance of sitting up straight and maintaining correct posture…

Damn you, Writing!

It’s bad enough you made me quit my job—not just once or twice, either. And for what? To keep me awake at night, as I try to find solutions to problems you’ve created, teasing me with new ideas when I haven’t even finished fleshing out the ones you gave me last time. Oh, and that thing you do, when you wake me up in the middle of the night, to tell me, Hey, Matt! You know that sentence you were struggling to put together earlier today? Well, here it is. I mean, not to sound ungrateful or anything, but do I have to hear it right now? It’s three a.m and I have to be up in a couple of hours to go and write.

You bastard, Writing.

My memory’s a little hazy, but I’m pretty sure I was doing fine before you came along. Now you distract me from other, more worthy endeavours, such as… oh, I don’t know. Swimming, or cycling. Or building my own house. And yes, you’ve taken me to some interesting places—physically and, you know, spiritually—but they were places I didn’t always need to go. Uncomfortable places. Places of profound personal discovery. Worse still, you’ve given me a sense of purpose—an ambition, a goal—when all I really want to do is sit on my arse and watch old episodes of The Simpsons, or whatever’s on Sky Atlantic HD. On occasion, you even—whisper it—give me hope, when, really, we all know that hope is pointless, and that we’re all doomed. And for that, I really hate you.

But I think the thing I hate most about you is that you know, in spite of my need to do other things, and my dalliances with other art-forms and creative outlets, you know that I’ll always come back to you. No matter how many dead ends you lead me down, how many rejection-slips you get me, how many glazed looks of disinterest you’d have me receive. You know I’ll be back…

Oh, Writing, you smug old git.

So, yes, sometimes I really do hate you. Savage Garden-style—truly, madly, deeply. Lifelong-partner-style. For all the early mornings, the backache, and the deteriorating eyesight. For the gut-rot and all the other pain you cause me. But the truth is, I wouldn’t have it any other way. No, siree. Not in a million years. Because—to paraphrase the great Mister Gregory Porter—even our worst days are better than the loneliness I’d feel without you.

Yours (hatefully)