Saturday, April 23, 2005

What's the Hardest Thing About Writing?

Lately, I've been struggling to get back on track with my writing after being sick for a week. I found myself questioning my abilities and passion for writing. After beating myself up for about a week, I decided to stop qualifying myself and get down to the basics and start writing again, which I did.

Writing is such a psychological endeavor, sending a writer on so many high and lows they may blame "el nino" for the rapid shift in their demeanor. That is why it is so important to have a sense of community. Writing is such a lonely job, we often wonder if we are not crazy to be pursuing such lofty goals as trying to get published. What is it that drives us to such obsessive degrees? My theory is that writers thrive on the thrill. The thrill of writing. The thrill of waiting to hear if something will be published. After bottoming out from rejection, the thrill of taking the ride back up again to the top and doing it all over again. We are thrill seekers, sitting on our chairs, staring at the computer screen, poised to create something wonderful, something memorable, and possibly, something publishable.

Are we gluttons for punishment? Absolutely. We need that feeling of euphoria after being pummeled by rejections. Writing is our drug, our way to make it through and day or week without losing our minds. Often I find I become cranky when I haven't written anything in a while. Now, I believe that it is anything I should be writing when I feel I cannot produce anything worthy of praise. After all, it is the "high" of writing "anything" that gets us through the day. Because it is only when we go back to edit something that we realize its true merits or deficits. After all, God created the wastebasket and virtual trash bin for garbage. There is a place for mediocrity.

We should be grateful for our ability to reach a high on a moment's notice, to reach distant places and alternate universes at the click of a key. Who else can perform such a feat of daring?

In this lonely world of writing, a writer needs companionship and comfort from other writers. We need a place to visit or call, where we can reach out to someone who understands the trial and tribulations of trying to crank out the written word.

That is why I ask: What is the hardest thing about writing? I would like to hear back from you and engage you in a dialogue. We need each other to fall back on in times of grief and shout out to in times of jubilation. Our endeavor is to write alone (mostly). Our enjoyment is to discuss what we do with others. Our salvation is to open our hearts to the ones that know our difficulties best.


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