By: Thomas Belskie

July 27, 2017

I write to try to figure myself out. That’s the simplest (and most pretentious) explanation I can give. I don’t like writing. Most of the time, I hate it.

A lot of people say you need to really love writing to be a writer. They say things like if it feels like work, it’s probably not for you.

But for me, it’s painful. I cringe at most of what I write and it’s rarely an enjoyable process. I pause often and think about what to say next. I hit the backspace key more than any other key on the keyboard.

It’s toxic, poisonous in a way. It can feel like torture. It’s demoralizing. But it’s like digging. If I sit at a desk and stumble and struggle long enough, eventually, if I’m lucky, I can uncover some truth. The truth is like gold.

It takes a lot of work and metaphorical sweat to get there. Real, authentic, meaningful writing is something I will always struggle to produce. And that frightens me because I never know if I’ll be able to do it again.

It’s not something I can have and possess in any permanent way. Its fleeting. It’s something I can only catch glimpses of. But the only way to catch those glimpses is to work at it. It doesn’t come tap me on the shoulder. I have to go after it.

The only thing I love about writing is being done with it and having something I’m proud of. That doesn’t happen a whole hell of a lot, but striving after that feeling is worth it. Discovering things about myself is worth it. Writing something that resonates with me is all I can ever hope for.

If it was easy and I just loved doing it because it came so easy to me, I’m not certain I’d ever write anything worth a damn.

 

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