When I give lectures to writing students I tell them to not get discouraged if they do not enjoy writing. “I hate writing,” I say, “It’s horrible. It’s hell.” They are shocked every time, but I mean it. I often finish essays feeling like I’ve had to cut away a part of myself in the process and burn it as an offering. I have finished essays sobbing inconsolably. I’ve also found myself staring at the record of my deepest pain with the cold eye of a morgue technician. I don’t know which feels worse.