“I would quit while you’re ahead. Really. It’s an awful field. Just torture. Awful. You write and you write, and you have to throw almost all of it away because it’s not any good. I would say just stop now. You don’t want to do this to yourself. That’s my advice to you.”According to "Is Writing Torture?" by Avi Steinberg, established author Philip Roth said this to new novelist Julian Tepper just weeks before Roth announced his retirement.
Tepper published this anecdote with The Paris Review blog, and it caused a stir within the writing community. Roth paints a grim picture of life as a writer, but others, like Elizabeth Gilbert, argue it's a "fucking great" job.
So, writers, which is it? Pain or pleasure?
As with most debates, I believe the answer falls in the grey area.