Friday, November 23, 2012

The Agony of Slogging Along

Another day, another thousand words while dealing with feelings of incompetence as I struggle with the work in process.  Why am I putting myself through this?  Why do I slog daily through words, words, words, fighting the impulse to add ever more to what I've already done even as I scribble out words that only yesterday were golden but today seem utter dross? The story that began with such promise has devolved into a messy assortment of ideas that do not quite jell.  In fact, the scenes have become so disparate that it's hard to believe they are parts of the same plot and why the hell did that character's name change from Jean to Gene while his/her gender remained unchanged but the clothes did not?  Moving scenes around doesn't help; it just makes the damage look that much worse.

God in heaven, I feel I will never, ever get this story done, but I blunder on, believing that there might be a solution somewhere ahead if only I continue to work on this phrasing, this paragraph, this scene, this whole fucking story!  Maybe I should stop rereading and just move on until this twisted tale reaches some sort of conclusion, epiphany, or simply dies unresolved.  Yeah, that makes sense. Or does it?

Is this what my life has become - struggling to make sense, to smooth the words into a coherent story, fighting the urges to move on to something -anything!- else just so I don't have to deal with what I've already driven into incomprehensible ramblings?

What twisted aspect of personality drives me, an otherwise sane person, to sit before a computer for hours, days, weeks at a time scribbling words that might never be read by another human being?  Isn't it presumptuous to think that my words, my concepts, ideas or phrasing merits any more praise than another's?  But questions like this, the nagging doubts, the painful realization of insufficiency, of mortality, and human frailty fail to dissuade me as I slog through the working part of writing - battling the devils that harry me as I proceed along the exhausting long march that will hopefully, prayerfully develop into something somewhat readable.

Is this agony the common lot of a writer?

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