I am sure that some feel that it is an exaggeration to suggest that blogging is a form of writing (in the prissiest, writing is something you do when writing a book sort of way). Nevertheless, I’m fairly certain that just about anybody that blogs or indeed has tried their hand at writing anything at all will gain some form of solace from this recent article in the Guardian.
Not writing for a living provides me with lots of wonderful procrastination excuses that I would never have as a full-time writer. On the other hand, perhaps the difference between having all day and a few key hours at my disposal is not realistically so great. While I was unemployed for several months last year I certainly found that the apparent glut of free time at my fingertips did not magically and immediately translate into a welter of productive writing. When it comes to procrastination, it would seem that the human mind (or at least mine!) is remarkably adaptable in always managing to find a way.
Of the nine writers who offer up their opinions on writing, I find Hari Kunzru’s contribution to be the most similar to how I feel about writing in general:
I get great pleasure from writing, but not always, or even usually. Writing a novel is largely an exercise in psychological discipline – trying to balance your project on your chin while negotiating a minefield of depression and freak-out. Beginning is daunting; being in the middle makes you feel like Sisyphus; ending sometimes comes with the disappointment that this finite collection of words is all that remains of your infinitely rich idea. Along the way, there are the pitfalls of self-disgust, boredom, disorientation and a lingering sense of inadequacy, occasionally alternating with episodes of hysterical self-congratulation as you fleetingly believe you’ve nailed that particular sentence and are surely destined to join the ranks of the immortals, only to be confronted the next morning with an appalling farrago of clichés that no sane human could read without vomiting. But when you’re in the zone, spinning words like plates, there’s a deep sense of satisfaction and, yes, enjoyment…
I’d be interested to hear on what other bloggers might think on this topic, and which writer’s contribution they most identify with.