The Joys of Writing
by Winston Churchill
The fortunate people in the world—the only reallyfortunate people in the
world, in my mind, are those whose work is also their pleasure. The class is not
a large one, not nearly so large as it is often represented to be; and authors
are perhaps one of the most important elements in its composition.They enjoy in
this respect at least a real harmony of life. To my mind, to be able to make
your work your pleasure is the one class distinction in the world worth striving
for; and I do not wonder that others are inclined to envy those happy human
beings who find their livelihood in the gay effusions of their fancy, to whom
every hour of labour is an hour of enjoyment, to whom repose—however
necessary—is a tiresome interlude. And even a holiday is almost deprivation.
Whether a man writes well or ill, has much to say or little, if he cares
aboutwriting at all, he will appreciate the pleasures of composition. To sit at
one's table on a sunny morning, with four clear hours of uninterruptible
security, plenty of nice white paper, and a Squeezer pen—that is true happiness.
The complete absorption of the mind upon an agreeable occupation—what more is
there than that to desire? What does it matter what happens outside？The House of
Commons may do what it likes, and so may the House of Lords. The heathen may
rage furiously in every part of the globe. The bottom may be knocked clean out
of the American market. Consols may fall and suffragettes may rise. Nevermind,
for four hours, at any rate, we will withdraw ourselves from a common,
ill-governed, and disorderly world, and with the key of fancy unlock that
cupboard where all the good things of the infinite are put away.