I keep coming back to this - if I enjoy anything in my 'working' life (yes, I use that term loosely because I lot of people believe I do nothing all day) then I'm doing it wrong. Simple. Oh, I'm perfectly willing to enjoy the flush of a first draft or the first reading of a fairly good Victorian sensation novel but I shouldn't enjoy the rewriting process or the actual cobbling of ideas into an argument. I shouldn't be happy in those circumstances; I should be banging my head against a wall in frustration.
I've been thinking about this a fair bit recently. I've read two Edmund Yates novels in a row that made me want to throw myself into a river without preamble. My problem is, I don't know if they're actually bad novels or whether I've just hit the point that I believe everything related to Yates has to be categorised as 'bad'. I read his name or I think about any of my research and I want to bury my head in something else. That 'something else' is frequently politics, which has implications for my sanity as well!
As far as writing goes, I've been working on a new first draft which I loathe. I'm writing it from compulsion and am therefore not really enjoying it. In fact, if I didn't think it'd haunt me for the rest of my days, I'd do my best to ignore it. I've also been writing to some competition deadlines that I became aware of fairly late in the cycle so they were unfortunately rushed and unfortunately more of a chore than a pleasure. But isn't that the part of writing we're supposed to trumpet? When the going gets tough a lot of writers get going. The rest of us knuckle down and get on with it. Our hopes and dreams are more important than some momentary discomfort.
I need to edit (again) a novel I last fiddled with perhaps a year ago. I know what I need to do with it but the actual process of going about it is intimidating me. It's also tricky to justify editing that when I've got so much else to occupy my time. What to do? I suppose sleep is an optional extra in life.
When things lose their glossiness and fun it's easy to push them away. Unfortunately, when I feel that urge coming on, it just strengthens my resolve to get on and do whatever I have to. I dislike my stubbornness sometimes.