Monday, June 18, 2007

A Work in Progress or a Big, Old, Ugly Mess?

The title says it all. Every time I start a new project, that's the way I feel. That it's this huge, out of control blob of words without form or meaning.

When I sit down to write, I do so with the clear intent of putting into words what I see in my head. Yet I often feel as though I've failed. Questioning every word, I struggle with silly things that don't amount to anything until I'm finished. Still I continue to agonize. I know better than to do this...I've been through this before. My first draft is going to be messy, full of mistakes and problems. I know this and yet I torture myself.

Other times, I feel as though I'm a sculptor and every word has been chiseled from my imagination. Every stroke and gouge physically hurts.

And then, there are those precious, fleeting times of sheer wonder and incredulity when I type a word, sentence or paragraph and I realize it's exactly what I meant to say, denoting the emotion, intensity or suspense in the just way I wanted.

In that moment of joy, I am at peace. All is right with my little creative world and I see value and worth to my endeavors. I go to sleep with a fulfilment and rightness that only writing can bring for me.

The next day, sad to say, I often begin anew, with all the angst, worry and doubt I had the day before. And I search, frantically sometimes, for that fleeting happiness, beautiful...seductive... elusive. Sometimes I find it, sometimes not, but I will always search. Why? Because it's what I am.

How about you? Do you sometimes agonize over every word and phrase? Does your work in progress ever seem shapeless and formless?

Or do you just think I'm in need of intense psychological counseling?


Carla Swafford said...

You are so funny, girlfriend! I have a feeling we all feel like that. I have a quote for this too. Surprised, huh? LOL!

Most writers enjoy two periods of happiness — when a glorious idea comes to mind and, second, when a last page has been written and you haven’t had time to know how much better it ought to be.
J.B. Priestley

MaryF said...

Agonize, is an understatement.....
Sometimes its tough and like you said there are these great moments of joy..