Writing Well

Last week I read a post by BlogLily entitled On Not Writing.  BlogLily describes some of the challenges that all writers face in putting one word in front of the other to compose our thoughts into meaningful, complete sentences (or stanzas, depending upon your medium of choice).

What I really appreciate about BlogLily’s post is the description of her relationship with her writing.  Her discussion got me thinking about all the different things that motivate us writers to do what we do.  Granted it’s an assumption, but I’m going to extend the possibility that most of us don’t just want to write – we want to write WELL.  Writing well is not just a matter of will – it’s a matter of practice, patience, and persistence, among other things.

In the absence of affirmation, meaningful feedback, noticeable improvement, or consistent confidence, what is it that keeps us all writing?  When you get stuck with your work, what is it that brings you back?  A deadline?  A goal?  An intangible force?  Something else?

We’ve heard from BlogLily, now let’s hear from you.

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2 responses to “Writing Well

  1. Well, you’ve covered the main things that keep me writing. Affirmation, certainly; meaningful feedback when I can get it; noticeable improvement (if I even dare go back and look at the early stuff); consistent confidence (even the most humble needs this otherwise nobody would ever create anything).

    However I would add to this that what keeps me writing is that I keep getting ideas. Because my work tends toward the satirical there will always be inspiration. There will always be unfair labor practices, corrupt politicians, a smug middleclass, and bad tv to make fun of. So I’ll always have material. Besides that, though, as long as I keep coming across the beautiful, there will be a need to record it. In the end, it is the beautiful that gets me to write. Beautiful dreams, beautiful days, beautiful ideas, beautiful men. The ugly too is beautiful and so there’s that as well.

    Getting stuck in your work is maybe a result of losing that “consistent confidence” mentioned in the first question. Paul Simon once said that if you get stuck in the middle of writing a song it’s because you are troubled by what it is you are saying. You are afraid of the truth that you want to put down, but because that may be perceived as ugly or will hurt someone, you try and find a way around the truth. But the truth is what you’re trying to write so you get stuck chasing your tail. When I get stuck, I try to figure out exactly what it is that I’m trying to not say and at the same time say. On the other hand, if I get stuck because I simply don’t have anything to say, well, then I don’t write. I don’t make my living by writing, so writer’s block is really not something I would ever worry about. If I don’t have something to say, I sure as hell am not going to sit down and write about it. There are a million other things to do besides worry about being blocked. I’ll be damned if I’ll miss out on them because of some “thing” I feel I have to do. Nobody has to write. If I don’t feel like it, I don’t do it.

  2. Pingback: Inspiration and Dedication: Creative Resources « Pennwriters Area 6 HQ

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