Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The pleasure and misery of writing

I’m sitting here trying to plot out a zippy press release (it’s not so much writing as it is juggling all the phrases that you have to include into coherent sentences), while thinking about how I’m going to fit together my review for Iain M. Banks new Culture novel: Matter. Life has become by turns simple and wonderful----most of my waking life is now taken up by reading and writing---and laden with guilt and anxiety---writing is no longer a leisure activity, and I, a well-known procrastinator, has been given the flexibility of enforcing my own deadlines.

It takes me time to write. A blog entry or a fomal email will bring me the same amount of headache and nervousness as a book review or a term paper. There was a point in my life where I hated every sentence I produced. I tend towards complex sentence structures that will crumble with a misplaced comma ( see last sentence of previous paragraph---I doubt it's even correct; oh how I love the dash). It doesn’t help that I’ve always had sloppy grammar.

Reading is therapeutic, but writing, especially writing something that someone will read, fills me with dread. I think part of the reason is that I can never quite catch the internal monologue that’s running through me head. No matter how many times I revise my work, it never or rarely turns out the way that I have envisioned it. It’s frustrating, but it’s also a challenge that I want to overcome. Blogging helps; sentences are coming easier---I find fewer objections to what I write. Thank goodness that I have started it again!

Paradoxically, when I read something that I'm really proud of, I get depressed because I feel that will be the only good thing I have ever written. Does anyone else ever feel like this?


Gena M said...

You asked if anyone ever felt like you do about writing - my answer is "YES CONSTANTLY". I have wanted to write since I was small. I won a few contests; get a lot of compliments; went to school and got a Masters of Art in English but I still doubt myself all the time... I am scared to death to attempt to publish, etc.. Anyway I love your blog and you write beautifully - thank you! I just wanted you to know you weren't alone in your fear. Keep up the good work I love coming here!

CChen said...


Thank you for the lovely comment! It's so nice to get such positive feedback. It definitely keeps me motivated to blog here.

Good luck with your writing! Keep doing what you love! And know that you are not alone!