Writing Misery Loves Company

2987926396_36f8c4342d_oAs a deadline looms on a new project, I have reached the end of the writing honeymoon  when the fun of creating turns into the slog of hard, hard work.  It is a miserable place to be–a place where self-doubt and the fear of inadequacy reign.  So tonight I have gone in search of some quotes to remind me that I am not alone–that even the greatest of writers have known this misery.

Writing every book, the writer must solve two problems:  Can it be done? and, Can I do it?  Every book has an intrinsic impossibility, which its writer discovers as soon as his first excitement dwindles.  –Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

Writing a novel is a terrible experience, during which the hair often falls out and the teeth decay.  –Flannery O’Connor, Mystery and Manners

Paris Review Interviewer to Mary Karr:  “What does it sound like when you get stuck?”

Mary Karr:  “Fuck. Shit. Don’t. Fuck.  You dumb bitch–whoever told you that you could write?  That’s what it sounds like.”

These words console me tonight as I face what feels like a daunting challenge.  But I also know that these are exactly the moments I need to push through if I want to be a writer.  Anybody can write when it is fun.  Only those who are serious push on past the honeymoon.

[Feature Image:  Rennett Stowe]

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3 thoughts on “Writing Misery Loves Company

  1. Teri– You are not alone. You suffer, struggle and doubt because you care, deeply, because you are called, truly.

    Hang in there. If you don’t, those of us who know you and admire your work will hound you!! (lovingly, of course)

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