As 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]