Baker: The Hard Work of Writing

The late Russell Baker was one of those writers who made it look easy. From the outside, we saw only the product of his efforts – his witty, polished, and prolific prose. Yet, in an interview with Adrienne LaFrance six years ago, he reminded us that producing good writing is hard work:

If you haven’t sweated over it, it’s probably not worth it. So it’s always been work. But it’s the kind of work you enjoy having done. The doing of it is hard work. People don’t usually realize what it takes out of you. They just see you sitting there, staring at the wall, and they don’t know that you’re looking for the perfect word to describe a shade of light. …

LaFrance, A. (2019, January 23).  Russell Baker: ‘When writing is fun, it’s not very good.’ The Atlantic. Retrieved from