What is the joy of writing?

Calvin Trillin:    Well it’s better than work for one thing.  I . . . At about every two or three years I make myself laugh.  It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes something just sneaks out before I can stop it and I laugh.  So if I . . .  I always figured if I got put in solitary confinement I would not be totally without resources.  I’d get a chuckle every couple of years.  My wife, when she heard me, would say, “I know that’s the silliest line in the piece that made you laugh.”   So there’s that kind of joy.  It’s satisfying.  I mean it’s satisfying to get something right.  I mean I think it’s the same feeling that somebody has in building a house or something; that it starts out looking like a mess and just a bunch of boards; and then a hole in the ground; and then eventually you get it so that . . .  You never get it quite perfect, but as close as you can get it if you have to make a living.

Although a writer never gets it quite perfect, the joy of laughter and discovery is enough to make a living.

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