Monday, October 11, 2010

Writing about writing

It sometimes seems that writers like to take the joy out of writing and make it sound like an unbearably miserable process. As a writer I know the feeling of not having got the words right, and that no amount of rethinking, reshuffling, editing, adding, and re-punctuating will actually elicit what was in the mind originally. The same applies to writing music: the dream I have in my head of something that zips along with elan gets lost in the very difficult process of writing notes on a page.

Nevertheless, in spite of what gloomy writers tell you, writing (or composing) is one of the great joys of life; it can be so absorbing you lose all track of time, it can be interrupted again and again and still survive, and still come out at the end making some sense. It can be reworked (something that's difficult with conversation) and remade; it can be thrown out and rediscovered.

A writer who says there's no joy in writing is a fool. He or she has become so concerned about the difficulties and despairs that he/she has forgotten why writing is such an exciting process. And such a joyful one when things come right. (As they do.)

Anyway, all this by way of introduction to an interesting post by Ben Myers on the Faith and Theology blog. He presents 13 theses relating to writing. Make sure you get past the first particularly gloomy one. And if you have time check out the related posts at the bottom of this post; there's some good stuff there too, especially Flannery O'Connor's acid response.
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