Sunday, March 26, 2017

26/31: Writing is Hard #sol17

Thanks to the Two Writing Teachers blog for hosting the #sol17 writing challenge! 

Today, while working on the third round of revisions for an article with my wonderful co-author Peter Anderson, I was reminded of something that I knew to be true. 

Writing is hard.

It's reading what you wrote and hating it...and then reading it again a few hours later and thinking, "Hey, this isn't half-bad." 

It's a delicate tightrope walk, one that necessitates the balance of thinking about your next step...but not too much, lest you waver in the same spot for much too long and come crashing down to the ground. 

It's reading criticism after criticism and outwardly cursing...while inwardly cringing, because you know that the feedback is valid and that you do have more work to do. 

It's two-and-a-half hours cemented to the same spot, working and reworking one sentence until it's perfect...only to change it again a week later because every idea surrounding it is different and your pièce de résistance no longer fits. 

It's knowing when to turn off your inner editor and just write...and when to go over your words with a fine-toothed comb, searching for the tiniest of imperfections to smooth over. 

It's the satisfaction of writing the final sentence and declaring yourself finished...while still knowing that writing is never really finished. 

Writing is hard. 

But if I gain nothing else from this uniquely frustrating and rewarding experience, I will walk away with empathy for anyone else who has ever tried to write something worth reading. In fact, I guarantee that the next time one of my writers tells me how hard writing can be, I will look them dead in the eye and say, with conviction,"Let me tell you. I know."


5 comments:

  1. I love the repetition of "it's" which pulls me back to your title and tag line.

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  2. Ha! You are so right! I find that even with Slice of Life. I could revise a hundred times and have to make deals with myself to "just hit PUBLISH". And writing something longer than a slice...well, that's just painful (in a good way, though). I love how you described your process, both the frustration and the celebration.

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  3. You hit the nail squarely! What a wonderful piece. I wish you the best of luck on your article and hope to read it one day soon!

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  4. Nice reflection and truth saying. We all struggle and the crafting is so personal so the feedback can be rough. Good luck with your work. I would love to get to that level. :)

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  5. Holy cow, some really big truth here! I just finished a 15 page research paper for a professor that wrote one comment on my last ten-page paper. I pretty much hated every minute of the writing, however, the whole time I kept thinking, "Well, the good thing about this is that I know how my students feel when they are writing stuff (like PARCC) that's hard for them." You captured it perfectly!

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