All in the Execution
The hardest part of writing is actually writing. That may sound silly or ridiculous, but in my experience, it is spot on. Putting the right words next to other right words is difficult for most writers. Whenever I discuss writing with people who also write, it’s a common theme. This is part of why a writer is never fully satisfied with any piece of writing, whether it be a poem, short story, essay, blog, memoir or novel. There is always something to fix, something that needs altering or rewriting.
I recently shared a piece called Three Rooms. I originally wrote and posted it over a year ago on a different blog. I agonized over it, tore it apart and felt that I had put something quite clever on the page. I read it over and over to make sure I still liked it, then finally shared it. The other day I felt it needed to be moved to this blog as it remains one of my favorite bits of writing. I thought it would be a simple cut and paste job but as I read, making sure it still felt good enough, I instantly found seven things in the first paragraph I wanted to change. An hour later I felt I had once again made it ready to post.
Now, it wasn’t bad the way it was. It just felt overwritten in parts, underwritten in others. If I were less prideful, I would post them side by side and let everyone see and decide. If you want to see the older effort, you can find it here. I am a bit curious if anyone will like the first version better. I haven’t read over the edited piece in a few days, but I am sure I can find something else to change.
The point-Ideas are easy, maybe the easiest thing. Getting those ideas onto the page is where it gets tricky. It is all in the execution, much like everything worth doing. We all have stories to tell; they make up our lives. So many say that they know we have novels inside us, just waiting to come out. It is getting them out that requires skill and effort, learning self-discipline and sacrifice. I don’t trust the art of someone who puts no effort, suffers no loss in its creation. Something is lacking there. It should be difficult, should be painful. There are always moments of effortlessness, where things flow, but those moments are few and rarely make up the entire process of the work. Like good song writing, fantastic painting, or a poignant novel, greatness takes time and pain. I have to prepare myself for that experience every time I get ready to write.
I am in a constant battle with myself over if I have it in me to suffer that again and again.