The Writing Grind

48011-writing

Writing is hard work.  How do writers deal with the grind?

Here is some advice from Helen Sword at Literary Hub:

A PhD student approached me after a writing workshop to recount his tale of woe. “I write these messy, incoherent first drafts,” he lamented. “They’re absolutely awful! Then I have to work on them for hours and hours to bash them into shape. It’s such a frustrating process, and so discouraging. My PhD adviser is a really good writer; she makes it all look so easy. I wish I were more like her.” I didn’t get a chance to interview the student’s supervisor; but if I had, I can guess what she might have told me. Probably something like this: “I write these messy, incoherent first drafts—they’re absolutely awful! Then I have to work on them for hours and hours to bash them into shape. Writing can be a hard and frustrating process, but for the most part, I really enjoy the challenge of honing and polishing my sentences until I get them just right.” Same story, different spin.

Sword has talked to a lot of writers.  These are some of the things that they think about: elegance, concision, structure, voice, identity, clarity, accessibility, vocabulary, syntax, agency, audience, story, “the big picture,” layout, and the “technologies of writing.”

Read the entire piece here.