when we suffer like we suffer

I went though that thing you know that thing a lot of writers go through. That thing where all the self doubt about your writing rears up and snacks on your legs and then maybe bites down a bit on your skin. You see all the flaws in everything. You wonder what the hell, when did you get so bad? The words felt good and then now the next day, it’s like a night where you wake up somewhere you didn’t want to all hung over and regretting everything. Except it’s with words on a page and you think whatthefucking hell. Did I write that? Do I have any talent at all?

And in the end, you know what, it doesn’t matter. Look, all writers go through this, and when you’re in the middle of it you don’t want people to tell you how good you are, you don’t. Because really, that’s like when you’re feeling like shit and all your friends are telling you how awesome you are, no really! You are!

Your mind is in some negative space where things don’t add up. The words don’t feel right, nothing works, everything is missing. I think it’s part of what happens when you try to take that glowy shiny perfect idea and place it down on paper. Something gets loss in the translation from thoughts to words. As TS Eliot said- between the idea and the reality falls the shadow. All the words feels like shadows.

What you do need is the comfort of knowing holy shit, there are other writers going through that right now. And even, hell, you know that book you love so much? Half way through, the writer of that amazing fluid piece of genius? That writer felt the same way. That writer felt like he was a liar and a cheat and some day everyone will find out and no one will publish him again. That writer wondered if anyone would ever buy anything again. And in that, well, there is comfort.

I think we writers suffer too much in loneliness, even though we write to relieve some of the loneliness in the world. Knowing this strikes out and makes us feel less lonely when we suffer like we suffer.


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