July 15, 2008

The journey of being a writer

Emily Hanlon writes in her article, Publish or Perish - It’s Not Only for Academia:

One of the great challenges that we face as writers is to understand in the core of our beings that the journey of being a writer is the biggest payoff of all. That’s when the magic happens, when unknown corridors within open, when writing becomes the song of the soul. There is inexpressible pleasure that comes from the unleashed imagination; the effortless flow of words; the appearance of characters who say the unexpected and do the unpredictable. There is inexpressible pleasure in waking up in the morning, hungry to return to my characters and their stories. Then there is no such thing as a “bad writing day.” Then there is only the writing, and my doing what feels as natural as breathing.

To which I can counter: There is an inexpressible frustration that comes from the barren imagination, the stilted drip of words..... . There is no such thing as a 'good writing day.' There is only the dream of wanting to write, something that one wishes came naturally but is usually a struggle far greater than imagined.

Actually, like Emily Hanlon's article, Jane Yolen, in her wonderful book, Take Joy - A writer's guide to loving the craft, also contends that "it is not the writing that makes writers miserable. It is the emphasis on publication."

But I have no real hopes or aspirations, at least as of now, of ever publishing something I write. I just want to be able to write. I am finding out I do not quite know how to write and perhaps was merely deluded with false aspirations of being a writer. Like chasing smoke - you think you see it, you reach out but can hold on to nothing.

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