I’m Not Writing, You’re Writing

I don’t know anything about writing. I’ve decided that’s okay.

I’m perpetually astounded by how writers achieve the effects they do. Given what I’ve read and studied, I should understand at least a little. But alas, I don’t, or if I do it is quite superficial. I’m okay with that too. Maybe that’s what they call acceptance.

Or maybe it’s just confusion. I remember being in a high school writing class. I think I got like a B- or a C in the class. I couldn’t spell or type or punctuate so well, so I suppose that was a fair grade. My teacher would read her favorite two papers from each assignment. One of mine was always read. But I got a C. How confusing is that?

Not that I’m the next Hemingway. I’m not sure what that would even look like. I’ve read my fair share of good books. I’ve read plenty on “how” to write. But writing is hard and everyone who has ever written knows this. It’s technically hard but certainly even more psychologically harder. I am not the first to point this out.

So what was the point I was trying to make? I got side tracked. I don’t remember. But maybe it was writing without trying to write. One of the toughest things I’ve found in any creative pursuit is finding a way not to care about expectations and create to simply express. But you have to be willing to accept that no matter how well your art resonates your spirit out to the world, you will most likely remain as obscure as the 99.9% doing the same thing.

I suppose it’s a non-Western thing. The West is obsessed with the technical. Are you following the rules? Does your plot do this? DO your characters do that? But your spirit is not a technical thing, even if the West wants to weigh and measure it to establish your worth. They will almost always find you wanting.

2 responses to “I’m Not Writing, You’re Writing”

  1. Weirdly enough, you can’t simply ‘learn’ writing. It’s the act of doing that gets you to improve. At least that’s what I tell myself when I put out blog post after blog post. Anyway, thanks for this post!


    1. I think you might be right. 80% of success is showing up or some such cliche. Keep at it.


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