Anima McKertcher

The Dreaming Garden

The Pain of Writing

Anima McKertcherComment

Writing for me has always been a painful exercise. Not because I don't feel I have something to say, but because I worry about precision. Words are powerful and once they go out into the world, they cannot be brought back. This is especially true when they are written down for others to read.

So I go through the struggle of choosing the right words, and putting them in the perfect order. Then I second guess what I've written. Then I rewrite and second guess again. Eventually I have something I'm willing to share, but like I said, I find the process painful. I also feel very self conscience about the end result if what I wrote is about myself.

I was asked recently why I don't write very much and that was my answer. My husband has helped me tremendously by encouraging me to be more personal and less formal with my writing and not to worry so much about perfection. Still I find it infinitely more fulfilling to express myself through my art. 

When I googled "the pain of writing"  I was comforted to see that even gifted and professional writers struggle with this. For instance, Lauren Martin's wrote about this "hard truth that all aspiring writers must accept"

The worse the pain, the better the writing. The best works are completed while drowned in complete sorrow, all-consuming pain and utter despair. A good writer always writes through his pain, leaking the truths and woes that come with from real emotion. The words should cut the reader, soaking them in the very pain the writer just bled onto the page. The greatest works of literature, music and art are bred from pain.

So it seems that the writing process is painful for many of us, whatever level of talent we feel we have.