The Guardian asks Joyce Carol Oates and others whether writing for a living is a joy or a chore; JCO suggests don’t trust anybody’s answer:
Recall that DH Lawrence warned us to trust the tale, not the teller – the teller of fictions is likely to be a liar. Darwinian evolutionary psychology suggests that none of us really knows what has made us what we are, still less why we behave so eccentrically as we do; when we are pressed to explain ourselves, we invent. In the Renaissance, poets claimed repeatedly that they wrote for posterity – to be “immortal.” In religious communities, the creation of any art was for the glory of God. In a capitalist society, one is likely to claim that one writes for the same purpose that everyone else produces a product – for money.
I'm a Reference Librarian at the University of San Francisco's Gleeson Library, and I run the Joyce Carol Oates web site, Celestial Timepiece.