Monday, January 24, 2011

Topic: Writing--a Painful Process

Question: How Do You Feel about Writing?

Answer: “I’m one of those writers for whom writing doesn’t come easy. For me, the process of knitting together words and sentences into a coherent, meaningful, readable whole is fraught with missteps, detours and plenty of frustration. And yet I keep at it, and the finished work—written just for me, at this point—is worth the effort. It’s a compulsion that’s hard to explain to others, but there it is.”

“But for the rest of us, writing is often a struggle—albeit one we take on gladly. …cites George Orwell, who famously compared writing to ‘a long bout of some painful illness.’ Tom Wolfe once remarked, ‘I do find writing a very painful process—I never understand writers who say it’s enjoyable.’ And I’ve always liked the line by Katherine Anne Porter: ‘Oh God! How I have to beat myself over the head to get started every morning.’ But what literary riches these writers have left us.” Jeff Reich, Editor of The Writer.

Comment: When I feel I have written well, I have a sense of enjoyment. However, while I’m writing, I find it pure pain. When I read something I have published and find mistakes, I feel pain. Poring over finished work to proofread a 534-page book, once, twice, three times, I feel pain I’m with those who feel that writing is a painful experience. RayS.

Title: “What Drives our Writing?” Jeff Reich, editor. The Writer (October 2009), 6.

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