Thursday, May 20, 2010

"Don't text me to say Glee is on."

I was hanging out with a bunch of friends from Emmaus tonight, and eventually, briefly, the topic of my blog came up. I mentioned, half as a joke, that one of my friends could write a guest post for me whenever she wanted.

"Oh, no," she said, "I hate writing."

"What?" I asked.

"I can't stand writing. I avoid it. I'd much rather do math or science."

"Me too," another friend chimed in. "I'd rather do math or science than write."

I looked at the people seated around the table as if they were aliens.

I'm not against math or science, but both are hard for me. And I guess what surprised me most was that I forgot that writing doesn't come easily to everyone. So many of my friends are writers, love writing and talking about writing, that the concept of someone truly hating writing has become utterly foreign to me.

I don't love writing every minute of every day. Anyone who writes will tell you that there are times finding words, and not even the right ones, is like finding a needle in a haystack (to beat the phrase to death). Sometimes it's worse--even when you're searching for that needle in that haystack (and really, who has ever done that?), you know it's there. Writing sometimes feels like digging through the muck of the barn for something that might not even exist.

But when I do love writing, I love it in a way unique to everything else. Words slip out, pour out, burst out and the doors and windows are flung wide open, and the oxygen is new, the world is new and so am I.

Sounds overdramatic, and I know it. But then again, I have a tendency to be overdramatic, regardless of what my caustic nonchalance may seem to show at times.

So, it's ok if you don't love writing. If you're a part of the blogathon, or if you spend a fair amount of time reading blogs in general, you probably do love it. But if you don't, that's fine. There are plenty of other misguided, starry-eyed romantics, waiting with pen in hand.


  1. Misguided, starry-eyed romantics?

    Interesting discussion.Some people really do just hate putting words together and they can't understand why the sentence they just wrote sounds flat and dull.
    I love writing. Words work for me and I'm comfortable working with them (unlike bits of metal or wood which usually end up splintering me or falling on my foot).

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. I don't think being a writer means being a misguided, starry-eyed romantic! (which is what it seems like you're saying w/ your last sentence)

    Some people approach writing like they would any kind of work: they do it every day, in a matter of fact way, at a computer in an office, no candles burning, no Shakespearean quill in hand!

    And some people do romanticize writing, and for them, writing is something mysterious and enchanting... they turn on the jazz, pour the red wine, and write, or write only when the spirit moves them...

    Both extremes exist, along with tons of gray space in between.

    All that aside, yes, not everyone likes to write - even people who are great at it don't necessarily enjoy doing it.

    You might be interested in this film I just wrote about: "Bad Writing Documentary." The filmmaker finds an old box of poems he wrote when he was younger, and decides they suck, and then sets out to make a film about what makes good writing:

  3. Please don't give too much weight to the "misguided, etc" line. :)

    I didn't really have professional writers in mind when I was writing this (I would love to be one, but am not. Yet.)--I was still processing this idea of hating writing, how it could be possible.

    And I do think that many writers, most often the nonprofessional ones ones (like myself) can float off into misdirection and starry-eyed wanderings. That was really my point. I often hear people berate themselves for not being able to write... and I guess my thought was that there will be enough writers, good and bad alike, to fill the space the non-writers leave behind.

  4. I love (usually) writing little handwritten note cards to my donors! Like, I get paid for that! crazy!

    but I don't like writing... updates about what my org actually does. cuz that's like... work...