Friday, January 22, 2010

Thoughts on writing

I was taking a wander over the blogosphere and happened onto a 'confession' post by Corra, which really hit home for me. Essentially i could have written this post - she summed up my feelings and thoughts on writing exactly!

(Hopefully she won't mind me quoting her)

I have no idea why I want to do it for a living. I really don’t. It exhausts me. There are so many stories and ideas in my head it pours out on paper sometimes. I think it would be the same if I were a painter or a sculptor. But does that mean anything? The rare outpouring? Most days I sit at the computer and wonder what the hell I was thinking when I decided to ‘become a writer.’ Nothing comes out.

I delete pretty much everything I write, and I rarely enjoy the writing process. It’s like looking at an ugly sculpture for three hours – and knowing you sculpted it!!

So when I read ‘I HAVE to be a writer! If I couldn't write, I’d die’ all over blogs – I question my authenticity. I haven’t got a raging passion for writing, any more than I have a raging passion for doing laundry. I have passion for literature, art, poetry, but creating it makes me nervous, and I never think much of my work. I usually feel inferior to other writers because I frown through the process and half the time (three quarters of the time) delete my words.

So what is it to be a writer for me? A constant climb. An irritating inclination, an exhausting obsession, an ‘I-wish-I-didn’t-have-a-computer’ plague that for some reason will not leave me.

Just once I wish someone would tell me, ‘I hate writing and I have no idea why I do it. I just can’t stop.’
Seeing her post, also reminded me of a topic we have been discussing on the WC forum - 'Why do we write?'

Here is what i said :

Sometimes i wonder this too, i've had writers block for the past 6 months. I've agonised over staring at a blank page, writing 200words, erasing 200 words and ending up with 0wordcount to show for it at the end of each day.

I've bought dozens of books about outlining, just to realise that i never outlined anything in my life, why am i forcing a different way of writing. Why am i not doing something else? something that comes easier? that is more likely to be a career!

i could ask a dozen of these questions. The reason i write isn't cause i love it, cause i'm not at the point where i find writing or should i say telling a story (well) easy, i'm not at the point where my work has even been validated and sometimes i really hate having this want to write.

So, why do i write?

Because if i'm being perfectly honest, i really . . . don't know.

I guess like you said its for the magic factor - when someone goes out of their way to contact you out of the blue to say they thought your piece (which you thought was utter crap) was brilliant

As Dean Koontz says
“Writing a novel is like making love, but it's also like having a tooth pulled. Pleasure and pain. Sometimes it's like making love while having a tooth pulled.”
On a personal note, its nice to know i'm not alone in thinking/feeling this way. Curious to know 'Why do you write' or how you feel about the writing progress?


Corra McFeydon said...

My gosh - I could have written what YOU wrote. That's amazing. It's EXACTLY how I feel. Down to the buying outlining books and having no idea why.

Thanks for sharing, Emily.

~ Corra

from the desk of a writer

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