Thoughts on the Writing Process

There are times, like today, when I write and feel like the pen doesn't capture exactly what is coming out of my mind. It's like the language and words betray that perfect image I have in my head. It frustrates me and I get down on myself and think that I am not worthy of being a wordsmith, a writer.

Then, I read something like this quote from Neil Gaiman (in an interview he did on

And I'm glad I waited. I think it's a better book than I set out to write 23 years ago, and I feel like the gods smiled on me, and I got very lucky. Normally, in anything I do, I'm fairly miserable. I do it, and I get grumpy because there is a huge, vast gulf, this aching disparity, between the platonic ideal of the project that was living in my head, and the small, sad, wizened, shaking, squeaking thing that I actually produce. And then there is The Graveyard Book, which is, I think, the first time I've felt really satisfied.

And suddenly, I don't feel so bad about what I have written.

Syndicate content

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

...sometimes it takes ages

I am so glad you found and posted that comment.

I feel guilty about not being able to write down ideas in my head sometimes. I make notes (on cards) I plot and plan and then find that something is missing and the shape of the whole piece eludes me. I am not able to just write and see where it takes me (someday maybe) but I want to feel I have an end in sight as I begin.

I recently worked out how to complete an idea I had around six years ago and intend to start writing on this project soon. I know I would have given up on it if I had begun it back then...but now !

My father passed away nearly eight years ago and one thing In inherited was a folder of his short stories. They include an account of some of his actions during WWII and when I got them I read them and knew that one day I would do something with them. I am re-reading them now and can see a set of amazing projects that should keep me going for years. if only I had a bit more time for my writing ! (I think we all say that)


I figure, if it's anything

I figure, if it's anything longer than a poem (or is a long format poem) you'll need more than the initial inspiration to see it through, at which point the initial inspiration is a lot less important. Better to work on the inspiration until you have a mature concept, even if it isn't the same as the original, because that'll give you something with actual substance to carry your story.

another quote or 3

Perhaps these quotes may also make you feel happier about your writing...

"Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression. The chasm is never completely bridged. We all have the conviction, perhaps illusory, that we have much more to say than appears on the paper." ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

"A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare. For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure." ~Henry David Thoreau

Great quote

For years and years I thought that I couldn't possibly be a writer because I wasn't able to sit down with a notebook and churn out a perfectly formed novel. But now I know that even the greatest writers work at it; there are times of inspiration, sure, but so much of it is hard graft. And that I do know how to do when I set my mind to it. Like Neil Gaiman, I'm sure you will get to a point where what's on the page is absolutely what you have in your mind, just maybe not today. . .