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—sniff through the pile of clothes by my bed, get dressed and walk to a nearby café, where I’ll spend the next few hours in your company. You make me sit down, which is bad for my health, apparently. You make me drink coffee, which stains my teeth and sends me a bit loopy if I have too much. (Okay, you don’t make me do that, and compared with the other vices on which other writers depend, coffee’s hardly the most malignant). You do make my back ache though, 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 commit career suicide—not just once, or twice, but three times. You had me leave a stable, well-paid job, with prospects and a pension. And for what? Now you 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, that sentence you were struggling to put together earlier today? Well, here it is. Cheers, mate. I mean, not to sound ungrateful or anything, but do I have to hear it right now? It’s three a.m…
My memory’s a little hazy sometimes, but I’m pretty sure I was doing fine before you came along. Now you distract me from other, more worthy endeavours, such as swimming, making money, having sex, and checking Facebook. And yes, you’ve taken me to some interesting places—literally and psychologically—but they were places I really didn’t need to go. Uncomfortable places. Places that have allowed me to discover who I am. Worse still, you’ve given me a sense of purpose—a goal, an ambition—when all I want to do is sit on my arse and watch old Simpsons episodes, or whatever’s on Sky Atlantic HD. On occasion, you even—whisper it—give me a sense of hope, when, really, we all know that hope is futile, 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 desire to do other things, and my dalliances with other art-forms and creative outlets, 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 all the 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 Mr. Gregory Porter—even the worst days with you are better than the loneliness I’d feel without you.