Thursday, 8 September 2011

What I Don’t Like about Writing

Mary says:
Ray wrote this post below some time ago and I can't remember if we did publish this in a blog somewhere or not. So, apologies if you have read this before but it has many thoughts writers do need to think about. I certainly do and was challenged again as I read this.

It’s confession time.
There are some things about writing which I don’t like. Do you suffer the same angst? Even as I sit here at the computer I’d rather be sitting in the sun, going for a drive or doing the garden. So why am I putting mental images into words on a screen for others to read and delete? I must have some masochistic tendencies.
What I don’t like about writing is its discipline.
I have to sit myself down and be ‘glued’ to a chair. I wrestle with words to make them fit into sensible sentences. I want to see empty space fill up, then worry I have too much to say. So then out comes the ‘scissors’ and the pruning cuts me as I cut the words. The requirement to edit, proof read spell check and get facts right is a drag. I feel a sense of frustration as my inspired creation undergoes a massive make-over.

The other thing I don’t like about writing is its loneliness.
We all hear about the loneliness of the long distant runner, but who thinks about a poor writer at the desk in a house, being shut away and being hypnotised by a screen? When family or friends intrude and ideas vanish how irritable I can be. They cannot understand for they are normal. What does that say about me?

The final thing I don’t like about writing is the waiting.
When my beautifully crafted, world’s best article or book has been sent off to the agent or editor I suffer unmitigated impatience. As my yet to be acclaimed work does the round from agent, editor, publisher I imagine all sorts of dreadful things happening to it. Then when it is printed, hopefully, I wait for the astounding amount due from royalties so as to satisfy my ego and its urges. Even then the waiting isn’t over. I pace up and down waiting for fan mail, commendations and invitations to award presentations! (I’ve been waiting for years. Still they may be lost in the mail or my e-mail server is jealous of me.)

Why do I then continue to write, you may well ask?

It’s due to a virus in the soul and spirit. It comes in the form of a word, an idea or a plot. Sometimes I catch it from disagreeing with something heard or read. Once bitten a fever develops. I fight it for I know the consequences. But too late I’m infected! The infection will not abate until I get the mental jumble of words, pictures, ideas onto some page or file.

To plagiarize, and with due respect, change the Apostle Paul’s anguish: ‘woe is me if I do not write.’ So what has bitten me you may well guess!
I must express my faith and awareness of God’s grace so others can see God and His Word’s relevance in their life. I may never be famous, never make any money, never win an award, but someone somewhere may read what I’ve written and become sensitive to the call of God. I know that makes all the ‘I don’t like’ parts of writing worth enduring.


  1. Jess here,
    I like this post. I am really struggling at the moment to sit down and write. A book keeps calling me and it's so hard to resist!!

  2. I sometimes find it difficult to disciplined, lonely and patient too. I agree with this post.