If writing is fun, go ahead and write

Year after year I railed against the Sunday Star Times short story contest for their clause in the T&C which is a simple rights-grab. I even contacted them directly, receiving a ‘thanks, we’ll consider that point next time’, and resulting in no change at all. I’ve given up discussing it, though, with the contest active, my posts from years back suddenly jump up into my stats list. I hope some of those people read it and consider what writers do – licence intellectual property – and reconsider any thoughts of entering the contest.

I won’t enter.

Now, that out of the way, I can rant about something else, in a way related.

Someone passed to me an article from the Sunday Star Times, from October 10 this year. It’s about one of the judges of the contest (shame on you for exploiting writers), and the headline is “If you hate writing and it’s torture, you might be a writer”

Connor HikingAh, no. There’s just so much wrong with that. If something’s torture, people, don’t do it. Go do something fun. For example, some members of my family love hiking. They go off on these fabulous trips and return weary and exhilarated and with collections of photos of some truly stunning sights. Snow, bush, views forever. I’m envious of some of those experiences. Look at Connor there, in the snow. Loving it.

But me hiking? For hours? In the rain, to reach the hut?

For me, that would be torture. So guess, what? I’m not a hiker. Guess what? When they go hiking, I stay home and write. I stay home and write because writing is a joy. Writing is fun. So I would revise that headline to be more like:

If you love writing and it’s a joy, you might be a writer.

There.