Why Writing Isn’t Easy – Particularly for those who call themselves writers

Okay. Now that i have officially linked (i think) this here blog to my facebook account and nothing has exploded – yet – i will commence with a slurry of generally foolish bullshit before slinking off in embarassment. Or something might explode – which i think i might prefer.

Let’s start with the title of this blog. Writing isn’t easy.

Well it’s not. Particularly if you have latent, but well concealed, neurotic tendencies. Let’s face it. Writers want to be adored for their amazing wit, pithy wisdom delivered in shining gemlike…umm…things…similes…what are those called? Metaphors? Anyway. Something like that. Generally writers are not unlike other people, the big difference is they usually don’t hide it as well. Writers often consider it their solemn duty to be messy humans. If they aren’t bulls in china shops they aren’t doing their job well. So… That said… Let’s just get this out the way before i embarass myself futher.

LOVE ME LOVE ME LOVE ME!!! Look upon my words of wit and wisdom and be thoroughly amazed!!! Or barring that politely look away while i make an ass out of myself.

Alright. I feel better about that.

Honestly i am in a post neurotic phase of my life so the moments wherein i lose my head seeking the adoration of a mythical fan base has passed. You missed it. Or i missed you. Whatever. It’s in the past. The real trouble, as you can see, is doing the work. To actually be a writer you must write. I know. It’s shocking but true. Should you meet one of those fellows who call themselves writers but will not show you a thing they’ve written but have a frightening affinity for gin and tonics, call them on it. Demand a sonnet immediately. An ode. Anything. At the very least make them hold a pen in their hands as they quaff down the next gin and tonic (and as they are looking at the pen and quaffing, slowly back away to a safe distance)

Because it actually requires work. You actually have to sit there and think of something to say. Or (as you can see from the bullshit here present in glorious abundance) you at least have to write SOMETHING – even if it is crap. Yeah. Sorta like life. It’s weird that way.

I started this blog a good two months ago or so and since it has opened for business i have quietly crawled back into my den of excuses about writing, some of them genuine and some of them total nonsense. I have finished one screenplay (the rejections of which i am not so anxiously awaiting – another tip from the notoriously unpublished: there is no point in being anxious about rejections. You might as well worry about walking. Just let it happen and enjoy it.) I have been planning another screenplay and in the interim i have been playing alot of videogames and have been deeply engaged in the process of NOT being a writer.

And then i come to this blog. I can write, but i’ll be honest with you – when i get here i choke. It’s like all the words and all the thoughts that might have flowed from any ready pen storm out of my head like crows over the proverbial wheatfield and then the thought “my lord! I’m a sickening fraud!” pokes up again from the primordial ooze of my subconcious and threatens to throttle me. And then i remember. I am a fraud. Of course. Duh. Being a Writer is a fraudulent act. Like BEING a concert pianist. Your life would really suck if you were chained to a concert piano 24/7. Same thing with writing, only we poor bastards have a long history of antisocial and self destructive behavior to live up to. It’s a heavy task, being brilliant and witty and fascinating and self destructive. It’s also a load of horseshit. Some dumb writer once said you can perfect the life or you can perfect the art and maybe there is some necessary tightrope walking being done, but lets all just hold it together and promise to do the best we can and pray – like the rest of the human race – that it all works out in the end. Let’s do that and set aside the questions of life, art, aesthetics, postmodernism and all the other nonsense you can throw into the great piss pot of whatever it is you do every  day, writing included.

Oh and by the way, if there are those of you who are not writers (shame on you, lesser people) – you remember that stuff they used to tell you about the brilliant writers of yesteryear who sweated and toiled over every word for the sake of their art? Well, sure. They’re out there but you definately don’t want to meet them and when you read them you will smell the stink of their effort. This is just my opinion but the best writers were the craftsmen who stumbled into their intent while staring at the clouds floating by. We’re gonna have a knife fight if you disagree.

Anyway. This is just my disjointed attempt to get the blood flowing as you can probably figure out. I have alot of things to write – another screenplay to start, one to edit and a third to play surgery with, and i really need to remember what those creative juices taste like and its not all absynthe and port. Sometimes it’s a bit like bile mixed with honey.

So write if you want to. Paint. Raise kids. Be a mess. But work on doing what you’re doing when you’re doing it and do  it the best you can then move away and do something else. Try not to call yourself an artist or a writer or a something and live up to whatever principles that you think define that. Believe me it makes it much harder to actually do it if you have to believe in it first.

Categories: Uncategorized, Writing | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Why Writing Isn’t Easy – Particularly for those who call themselves writers

  1. One time I met a famous writer and he asked how things were coming along. I said, “Okay I guess, but I’m still a hack.”

    He replied, “We all are, just don’t tell anybody I am.”

    Dr. B

  2. It’s the same for artists. People think you sit and draw all day when the reality is that things have to be researched, ideas formed, mark making and colour mixing practiced, paperwork done, web sites maintained. It’s never just about painting. Plus, if you compare art to brain surgery, just how important is it? But at least it, and writing, allows for some creativity in the world and I don’t think I would have it any different.

  3. Lisa

    I think you’re onto something. I think you may be on to me… I almost never write for pleasure anymore. And with every year that goes by, I love gin and tonics more and more. This is a worrisome trend.

    • Write! I think i might wither and die if i didn’t put fingers to the keys every now and then. That said i will not turn down a proferred gin and tonic – provided it hasn’t followed too many of its mates.

  4. Bobbie

    Yes – working at writing isn’t easy – it’s the doing that makes it worthwhile.

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