“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” ~ Ernest Hemingway
Hemingway’s words say a lot about writers and how personal their art is. In my opinion, they also call out people who view authors as lazy do-nothings with “easy” jobs. Maybe society had the same negative view of artists they have now, and his quote was a sarcastic retort, like …
“There’s nothing to writing. All we do is sit in our pajamas and spill our guts to a cruel and judgmental audience.”
The quote could have also been an honest opinion of the writing process. After all, bleeding onto a “typewriter” is much easier for people who’ve had their arteries cut. Perhaps Hemingway chose to transform his pain into beautiful artistic creations as an occupation. But even then, the work involved in “gathering material” would’ve been anything but easy.
“A writer’s pain is her most gainful possession, but it’s also her most devastating asset.”
We could also take his quote as a writing guide. Maybe he was advising aspiring authors to draw from their hearts and let their words flow naturally. His intended takeaway might have been, “Pour from within, and writing won’t be difficult for you.”
No Two People Bleed or Read the Same
All writing is subjective, and readers view and interpret each piece differently, regardless of the author’s technique. Thus, only Hemingway knew what he meant exactly, but we know from his words that he meant it wholeheartedly.