Friday, April 27, 2012

Just Open a Vein

I had a first-class meltdown over a piece of writing this week, and that's got me thinking.

If writing is so difficult, scary, challenging, whatever, why do we do it?

Sportswriter Red Smith is credited with originating the classic line that "Writing is easy. All you do is sit down at the typewriter, open a vein, and bleed."

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings described writing as "agony," and I'm pretty sure Hemingway felt the same after regularly spending quite a long time trying to write what he considered one true sentence.

I was channelling all that this week, complete with tears, hair-pulling, and swear words. I had everything I needed to say in my head, but because I realize you can only write about one thing at a time, I couldn't seem to get it onto the page.

And then, of course, there was the over-thinking. Never good.

Even a writing coach needs a writing coach sometimes.

Fortunately, I was gently coaxed off the ledge by my mentor-friend, using just the right combination of sympathy, practical advice, and tough love.

Once I was able to get started, I built up some momentum, and what I finally wrote turned out okay. Needs editing but you know, what doesn't?

I'm still figuring out the larger implications.

But so far I'm leaning toward Dorothy Parker, who said many clever things, but perhaps none more true than, "I hate writing, I love having written.”

1 comment:

Talk to me! I love external validation.