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I am having trouble writing.

Let me say that again: I am having trouble writing.

It’s small trouble — too much to do, pre-holiday crazies, short attention span, exhaustion, life-issues, plans that get in the way. It’s trouble that comes and goes, but never fully goes away. Writing through the troubles, the issues, the time crunches, this is the writer’s life. Forever and always. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

I do think there is this belief that once you get published, the writing gets easy. Or at the very least much easier. And in some ways that truth is valid. And in some other very significant ways, it holds no validity at all. Writing is hard. It will always be hard. If it wasn’t hard, then all those people who say, “I have a great idea for the book I’m going to write someday,” would actually have written those books. And would be on to their second and third and fourth books.

I sat down today and reread the short story I’m working on. I hated every word of it. I fucked around with it. I hated it some more. I left it. I came back to it. It didn’t look any better. It maybe looked a little worse, like a bit of fruit left on the counter, kind of crusty around the edges. I moved some words around. I moved them back. I closed my eyes and erased random words. I become my character, who started saying things I didn’t want her to say. I got up again. I got coffee. I sat back down. I went to the gym. I made rice. I took a shower. I walked by the computer and hated my story from afar.

Today, I found this great Writer’s Prayer (via Jay Lake).

I am a writer, and I will finish the shit that I started.

I will not whine. I will not blubber. I will not make mewling whimpering cryface pissypants boo-hoo noises. I will not sing lamentations to my weakness.

My confidence is hard and unyielding. Like a kidney stone lodged in the ureter of a stegosaurus.

After reading that, I sat back down. I put a thousand new words on the page. I hated every one one of them as they came out of my keyboard, worried over them like a dog with a bone, started to find their marrow and love them, just a little. Writing is hard. That’s the long and short of it.

I am the Commander of these words.

I am the King of this story.

I am the God of this place.

I am a writer, and I will finish the shit that I started.


Kiss kiss bang bang, s.