Terrible Article in Salon Romanticizes “The Suffering Artist”

It actually promotes self-loathing as a productivity strategy!

My comment:

Sorry, this is the kind of grandiose macho posturing bunk that holds many writers back. Writing, absent perfectionism, is not that hard. And true self-loathing (as opposed to facile expressions of it) is far more likely to lead to a block than anything.

There are plenty of examples of successful writers who write from places of ease and joy–and perhaps most successful writers do. For examples, see Stephen King from On Writing, Trollope from his Autobiography, Jane Yolen’s Take Joy, and my own The 7 Secrets of the Prolific.

What this article promotes is actually a romanticization of suffering, and that’s a very immature viewpoint. I actually find quotes about how awful writing and the writing life are to be not just perfectionist, but self-indulgent. No one’s forcing anyone to write, and writing happens to be a great way to spend one’s time, not to mention earn one’s living. Beyond all that, all worthwhile endeavors require hard, and occasionally tedious, work; and, if anything, we writers have it easy, with unparalleled freedom to work where and how we wish.

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