Writing Is Like Sex. First You Do It for Love

The first time I had sex, it lasted a whopping four minutes and only cost me a lifetime of regret.

Effie May Garrett, Tender Underneath


That’s a line from my upcoming book. Sorry to anyone who wanted to know about my first time. The reality was nothing special. We lied on a blanket under the moon and night stars, and after Chris Evans whispered that he loved me, I became…a woman. I’m kidding, of course. You’ll have to read my memoirs for that story. Today, you can read about why I write.

The title of this post is the first part of a quote that I’ve loved ever since I read it about a decade ago.

Writing is like sex. First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money.

George Jean Nathan (frequently misattributed to Virginia Woolf)

Teenage Angasa thought this quote was all kinds of dynamite. I mean, what a brilliant tongue in cheek way to describe the craft; why most of us get into it, why most of us persist, and where most of us end up along the journey.

At the end of the month, I will be putting a price tag on a labour of love. A price based on reconciling what I think my work is worth and what (I believe) people will be willing to pay.

I find myself thinking of the quote and patting myself on the back for finally getting to the money part of the journey again. (You win, capitalism, gosh!)

I think of the friends part and my mind conjures up the dozen or so who’ve read my book.

I think of the love part and I am transported to the time in my life when Tender Underneath was the best thing I’d ever written. Even now, years after I wrote it and arguably at a point where I’ve moved on from the writing style, I find myself feeling very proud of my tender little story.

I write because I love it. I want to be good at it. I write because when someone connects with shit I made up in my head, it gives me a joy like no other. I love writing so much, I’m willing to be vulnerable and let it go. To let it be consumed by others. For my words to find other homes because they were too beautiful to stay inside just mine.

The not-teenage Angasa thinks the quote is awfully clever. She wishes she’d come up with it. However, just as she doesn’t understand why she’s referring to herself in the third person; she doesn’t know why writing for love, for friends and for money has to be an if/then sequence.

This Angasa thinks that it’s perfectly possible to love and capitalise. I mean, can you really blame me for wanting to spend my days writing lines like, “The first time I had sex, it lasted a whopping four minutes and only cost me a lifetime of regret”, and also making money off of it? Next, you’ll tell Chris Evans he can’t say he loves me anymore.

I write. I do it for love.

Hot dates with a single MILF* who may or may not be in your area:

  • Book cover reveal – 17 May 2020
  • Sneak peek – 17 May 2020
  • Pre-order available – 17 May 2020
  • Blog + Virtual Book Tour – TBA
  • Publication day – 31 May
  • More dates to come

*Millennial In Love (with) Fiction, ba dum tss!

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