The thing about writing

is that it always seems impossible when you’re not doing it. The finishing line always looks too far away, and the process always too tedious, difficult. But that’s because to write is to struggle — that’s the very essence of writing.

I have sometimes gone back to read what I’ve written and been amazed that I was able to string my thoughts together at all, and to sometimes be impressed by the flow, structure and clarity (according to my own low standards of course). Then I recall that the process leading to that was always painful, always filled with doubt, and always required a lot more pacing in the room and talking to myself and editing than writing.

I’m talking about even those moments when inspiration strikes. You have a “brilliant” thought and you sit down to write but what comes out is banality. Your sentences don’t flow and your words can hardly express what’s really in your head. It all feels like a farce.

But when you trudge on despite the pain and put your head down to organise the words on your screen, to pull this sentence out and put it somewhere else instead, and delete entire sentences that add nothing to what you’re trying to say, and work hard to hack away at the weeds and the overgrown brush in your head, you eventually come to a clearing in the woods…

That’s when you click “Publish”.

One thought on “The thing about writing

  1. I do the same thing, look back on things I’ve written and thought “where did that come from?”

    I often describe it as being a conduit: the words are out there already and just looking for a route to the page, they pick on you as that conduit and from there you’re just a passenger getting taken along on the ride.

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