December 13th, 2008
Instead of reading this, why don’t you enter my giveaway? I’d erase this post altogether, but that would be in direct opposition to my Tip #1 included below, in the midst of this drivel I’d rather you ignore.
How to write. I ask myself this question almost every day. Because I overthink, and because I second guess, and because I doubt, and because I can be better, but I don’t know how.
Writing is like combing hair. You stand in front of the mirror trying to coax your hair into shape. And a strand falls out of place, so you comb it, but in combing that strand, you’ve mussed the other strands and there is no way in hell all the hair strands will stay neat and in place, because each strand lies atop another and the ripple effect says you could comb all night and still, your hair won’t be perfect.
I look around. I read what’s out there. I get impressed. I wish I could write like that. I hang my head in shame. I wonder what all the great writing has in common. I agonize over writing. I re-read my stuff and I cringe. It is clunky and it is trying too hard and it is ineloquent and it’s not funny or touching. My voice doesn’t shine through, and if it does, I find it annoying.
Sometimes I think I’ve got it figured out. There are all different kinds of writing, but there are common threads.
But maybe it comes down to the one thing that eludes me…my How To Write Tip #1:
Just put it out there. Your voice. Don’t erase stuff you think is inappropriate. Have faith in your word choice. Don’t self censor. Adopt a sure tone that tells the world you are in charge of your prose. I love reading people who say the silliest things or the most painful things or the deepest things or the most asshole things and just let their souls seep unto the page without saying sorry. It’s so pure. And honestly, I’ve read some pretty crappy writing that sounds a whole hell of a lot better simply because the author sounds like they could care less what I think. But confidence applies mostly to good writing.
Pretty sure my highest self just talked to me.
p.s. In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s about time for my bi-monthly “why can’t I write?” post. And for you newbies, this is when I question my abilities and skill set and draw the conclusion (as you so surely have) that I can’t construct literary sentences and who do I think I am anyway?
p.p.s. As much as I love what you have to say, I don’t want this to be a “gimme” post (tell me I look good naked! tell me I can write! tell me you love me!), so I respectfully ask that you act like I don’t exist. And yes, I’m on my period.