When you’re in love, you tingle with passion, desire, excitement. Every moment is an opportunity to discover another fascinating detail about your beloved. Even the risk of being disappointed, rejected or broken-hearted is thrilling.
When you love, you’re calm and accepting. You know who you’re in relationship with and you know who you are in the relationship. The trust you’ve earned creates willingness to risk at a deeper level.
The best answer to the question of whether you love writing or are in love with writing is “Yes.” You need to love your writing process and be in love with your current writing project.
You need to trust yourself to show up. You need the routine and predictability that habits give you. That’s loving your process.
But you also need to be excited about what you’re working on. You need novelty and variety to keep things interesting. When you’re in love, the object of your passion is special, intriguing, the focus of all your attention. That’s what a writing project should be.
When you love, the one you love is still special, but the rush and the drama dissipate. It’s possible to take your love for granted because you trust and rely on the other so completely. The steady relationship can become so comfortable and predictable that it starts to resemble a shabby bathrobe — nothing flashy, but it’s warm and it fits. That’s what your writing habits should be.
You can fall out of love just as easily as you fall in love. Writing projects might thrill you at first, but there’s no guarantee they won’t disappoint you. You might be adored or you might be rejected. Your interest in a project or topic might be just a fleeting flash of passion before you move on to your next love interest. Or the passion might flee before the next beau arrives, leaving you bereft and without a clue about what’s next.
We face the risks of rejection and loss that come with falling in love partially because it’s exciting, but even more so because we love and trust the writing habits and process that sustain us.