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]