I read an amusing article today about one writer’s writing process. Mr. Lennon’s process is not unlike mine in that it happens whether or not I’m in front of a computer; however, he failed to mention that this inattention to physical writing has a lot to do with the pain of it.
Oh, it’s not so bad once you’ve struck a bit of gold, but mostly it’s like having poison ivy without the soothing calm of calamine lotion. Doing laundry, cleaning closets, taking out the garbage, eating, smoking, biting one’s fingernails, calling all those near and dear and some who aren’t, removing cat hair from sofa cushions, eating again, … ad infinitum… are all ways to diminish the pain of turning a blank document into one filled with compelling verbiage. It’s damn hard. One paragraph can take all day, especially if you’re a writer-editor like me. I write two sentences and then edit. I’m amazed whenever I complete anything. Heck, this little blog post is going through my write-edit-write-edit process, and so far I’ve spent 30 minutes on it. Crazy! Imagine the time it takes for me to draft a research paper. I shiver when I think of it. I know somewhere in me there is a doctoral dissertation, but I don’t think I could manage the extra weight I’d gain from taking all of the necessary breaks; however, I imagine my house would be very, very clean.M