Ten Things I Hate About Writing
- Having a good idea doesn’t guarantee that a whole story is going to flow steadily from your pen. The idea is the easy part. Figuring out where it goes and then illuminating the path for readers to follow is the hard part.
- You can pour your soul onto the page, give it all you’ve got, but that doesn’t guarantee anyone will like it. It doesn’t even guarantee anyone will read it.
- Punctuation and grammar are tricky. Even verb tenses become complicated when you get deep into storytelling. And don’t get me started on commas. Commas are always throwing themselves into places they don’t belong and running away from the places they do. The more I write, the more I find little language puzzles that I don’t know how to solve.
- The words themselves are tricky. They have extra meanings up their sleeves. Sometimes I write something and think it means one thing. Then I look at it later and realize that it could be taken in a completely different (and sometimes opposite) way.
- Mood, too, is tricky. Trying to set a scary or romantic mood, for example—perilous! And you’d better think twice before you publish something “funny,” especially if it’s sarcastic. Sarcasm rarely plays. When you write sarcastically, you think you’re just poking fun but, more often than not, you’re just being a jerk.
- Writing is a lonely undertaking. You’re in it alone. No one can help you. You struggle, but no one else seems to understand how difficult it is. You will never get enough sympathy, or credit.
- And yet you need other people, because how else can you get feedback? Every piece of writing for which I’ve gotten feedback has been improved by it. It’s unfair that you have to work so hard all by yourself, but then you’re totally dependent on other people.
- Nothing I write is ever going to be as good as I wanted it to be.
- Writing takes discipline. Discipline is not something I have in great supply.
- What I really want is to read my stories, not write them. It’s not that I’m lazy. I’d just prefer to discover the story for the first time in its finished state, rather than having to piece it together myself, word by bloody word.
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