The Joy of Writing


What happens when writing ceases to be enjoyable? Over at Beyond the Margins, Dell Smith discusses how the joy of writing must eventually yield to the joy of a finished draft because while writing first drafts might be pleasurable, the work leading to a final draft rarely is:

The only way to finish something is to revise it. Revising for me was anathema. As joyous and euphoric as I found writing the first draft, revising dropped me to a new level of drudgery. Revising my writing was impossible for me to do well for an extended time. I had no patience for it and I usually gave up and simply moved on to the next first draft.

Ian MacAllen is the author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022). His writing has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, The Offing, 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and elsewhere. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at More from this author →