…the writing sucks. Or, rather, the process of writing sucks? Or, like today, when both sucked. And hard?

I wonder sometimes if I have myself — and my self worth — too tied up in what I produce each day, which stories I tell, which words I write. When the writing goes poorly, I feel like I’m not doing what I’m “here for” and that makes me doubt myself and my abilities.

And then I wonder if, on the other hand, it’s just a day where the self worth is low to begin with and that makes the writing seem impossible, seem lousy, when really it’s neither.

How do you tell? And how do you feel better (whatever that means for you) when one or the other or both makes you struggle, makes you swear and sweat and beat your fists against the keyboard and go find something, anything — a drink, a bowl of ice cream, a movie, a walk, a fuck, a sink full of dirty dishes — just to not have to face the failing words (or your failing reflection) on the screen anymore? What is it we do when we’re not doing what we do? And how it is that we stay whole in the process? Or is falling apart part of the process?

The writing, today, went badly.

The self-esteeming, today, went badly too.

And then I went out to feed the chickens, and the dog was walking beside me, carrying her new toy (which, ick, is a dead mouse, but I can’t get her to put it down) and the great horned owls were hooting their mating calls in the woods, and I thought: How stupid this is, to be tangled in and tied up over words, these stories that I’m trying to tell.

But it didn’t make me feel any better.

The only thing that makes me feel better is to write something good, something I’m excited about, challenged by, proud of.

None of those things happened today. But I’ll get up tomorrow morning and I’ll sit down at the keyboard in the hopes that they will.

What do you do to keep going, to keep putting words on the page, to keep yourself returning, moment after moment, back to the work?

Kiss kiss bang bang, s.


"We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out." ~Ray Bradbury


PS — Writing on the Walls image from this artist.