Tuesday, June 7

This writer's life

Every now and again, I check in on the blog of one of my favorite writers, Dani Shapiro. And much like when I read (or re-read) one of her books, I am never sorry.

There's a danger in romanticizing what it means to be a writer. Because what it really means is hard, hard work. It means tearing your hair out. Feeling like your head is about to explode. It means enduring periods of time during which you have no idea what you're doing. It means rejection, failure, disappointment and confusion, only occasionally tempered with acceptance, triumph, joy and clarity. From a distance, it can look good—I know this as well as anyone—but if you get up close to a working writer, what you can see and hear and even smell is the steady thrum of tension and despair that is necessary to get the words to fall onto the page in the right way, in the right order, and with the possibility of lucidity, even poetry.

And while she's talking about writers, sometimes I think that steady thrum of tension and despair applies to everyone's life, to life in general, to the world.

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