Worst Girlfriend Ever - Trust

Big magic: creative living beyond fear - Elizabeth Gilbert 2015

Worst Girlfriend Ever

Inspired by this notion, I now often ask aspiring young writers the same line of questions.

“Do you love writing?” I ask.

Of course they do. Duh.

Then I ask: “Do you believe that writing loves you in return?”

They look at me like I should be institutionalized.

“Of course not,” they say. Most of them report that writing is totally indifferent to them. And if they do happen to feel a reciprocal relationship with their creativity, it is usually a deeply sick relationship. In many cases, these young writers claim that writing flat-out hates them. Writing messes with their heads. Writing torments them and hides from them. Writing punishes them. Writing destroys them. Writing kicks their asses, ten ways to Sunday.

As one young writer I know put it, “For me, writing is like that bitchy, beautiful girl in high school who you always worshipped, but who only toyed with you for her own purposes. You know in your heart that she’s bad news, and you should probably just walk away from her forever, but she always lures you back in. Just when you think she’s finally going to be your girlfriend, she shows up at school holding hands with the captain of the football team, pretending she’s never met you. All you can do is weep in a locked bathroom stall. Writing is evil.”

“That being the case,” I asked him, “what do you want to do with your life?”

“I want to be a writer,” he said.