Writing is painful.

It begs an audience and only for the few lucky is there ever any applause. Best case scenario, a friend or family member will read the sentences you practically had an aneurysm to arrange perfectly and offer you some shallow piece of encouragement. But everyone knows the words of the biased don’t count for crap. If anything it sucks more because it feeds all your fears, those lies of incompetency you feed yourself daily for breakfast, lunch, dinner…like a good cereal you keep eating when you need to go to the store for real food.

But you can’t stop writing just because of that, because even though you may get no applause, you avoid having hemorrhoids. Trying not to write when your head is a mass of creative phrases is like being an alcoholic trying to give up booze. It’s ugly- the headaches, temper, the incoherent ranting and raving. And ah yes, the whining.

So I keep writing, as painful as it is. Ironic to wrestle so much with something you love. I used to think writing is like having a stomach bug, the one where you know you’ll feel better if you could just vomit your guts out. But now I feel like it’s more of a hangover. You spend all that time writing, enjoying the sweet wine of flowing words. You find a pace and you’re the life of your party, you’re winning beer pong. You’re going to brag about this tomorrow. Then you’re finished, trashed, and you’ve puked all you can and you’re empty. Alone. Raw. Bored. Possibly regretting the binge. People may compliment your attempt to compile thoughts powerful enough to rival the classics. They’ll say you rocked the party when you skinny dipped and yelled at the cops but reality is–it’s the day after and without that buzz, you’re just a loser that won’t accomplish anything until the next solo cup is in your hand.

What do you do until then? Nothing is in color, nothing as alive or interesting. So maybe sleep. Eat chocolate and get diabetes, I don’t know. Just try not to pluck out people’s eyes when you feel the words coming and you pick up your pen but they have other more pressing needs in the “real” world, more urgent than reading the drafts of the worlds begging to be expelled from the universes in your crowded brain.

(It came to my attention that I shouldn’t quietly hide behind every post, that I should write something. The above text is the very first post I ever blogged. [The original post is on a URL that is no longer active.] I’ve changed a lot over the years but this is a post that I keep coming back to because it is a feeling I keep having. Being a writer can very much be a roller coaster, sometimes euphoric, and other times nauseating. Can you relate?

14 thoughts on “With every high, comes a low

  1. Very true. Which is why Endever’s model works: continuous feedback and improvement, as opposed to the yawning void of self-doubt and the fingernails of hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Funny enough, my husband has had a steadier and more positive pace with his writing since I started working with Endever. Something about being around other authors (even if by a third party!) is motivational, especially when they enjoy brainstorming with you.

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  2. Don’t write, think, or worry about the audience, write only for yourself, it’ll be more true and honest. Emily Dickens writing was discovered in her attic after her death, her writing as a whole was a letter to the world, I think she meant it to be that way.

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    1. Very wise truth, thank you. For me, the agony isn’t so much the audience but the way living becomes so grey when not in the throes of crafting. I’m artistically minded and don’t adjust so well when the real world comes calling and pulls me from creating.

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    1. I’ve never had one either but that’s the beauty of the written word- that it can evoke the intended feelings, even for someone that doesn’t share the experience.

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      1. That genre is a favorite of mine as well! I say I have an old soul because I find myself wishing I had been born in one of those earlier eras.

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  3. I love that I write, I submit some flash or poetry, enter competitions and play with genres on my blog. That is how I procrastinate from my WIP. On a high from cleaning up another chapter I bounce in for tea and sisterly chats, within minutes she just has to… “Book published yet”? My skin prickles and cheeks flush a slight tremour shows as I lift my cup to my lip. A moment passes “Thought not, still just playing at it, like when we played shops… you weren’t really a shopkeeper you know”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ouch!!! Well then! I know who you will boast to the second you write the last sentence!

      Also, don’t always think of shorts and poetry as procrastination. It really is good practice to keep your skills freshly oiled. Plus, a short might just inspire something for a larger piece!

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