Writing is fighting.
I couldn’t tell you why I write, honestly. It’s tiring, strenuous and tasking. I’ve spent minutes upon minutes musing over words, reading and re-reading sentences, trying to bend them to fit my ideas and vision in my head, only to read it back after and be utterly disappointed in how crap it is. I imagine that if I were in the past, before the invention of word processors and the like, that my room would be full of scrap papers and half-finished tales. I suppose it’s the same now — the only difference is that I can store them in a laptop.
I can’t remember who said it exactly, but I read somewhere that “writing is like fighting” and I couldn’t agree more. It’s a struggle. Yes, it looks easy. Yes, to some extent, some could argue that it is. They’d probably be right too — to some extent. But that’s if one was to remain mediocre.
“It’s easy. In fact, it’s so easy it’s hard.”
However, if the goal is to reach the point at which one’s writing is hypnotic and seductive, then the struggle is inevitable. It means labouring over structure, vocabulary choices, punctuation. Cutting, elongating, morphing and twisting words until you so perfectly and vividly paint a picture with words that at once flourishes in the reader’s mind like a blooming flower in the spring.
See that? Even typing that previous sentence, I had to think about what kind of imagery I could use to write about writing itself. I had to think of what I could liken to the idea of understanding a series of words so that you, the reader, can understand what it means to be a reader.
It makes sense, then, that writing should be a violent act. A gruelling act of grinding out and subduing language — mastery of its form — so that it follows your will. And maybe writers hold some type of violence. Or passion that becomes violent in some way or another.
It’s easy. In fact, it’s so easy it’s hard. Something that should make sense, a thought or idea that should be easily explained, finds itself translated wearily on a page. Regardless, the art itself is one that is practised widely, not just for its beauty, but also for the virtues it teaches. Virtues of patience, persistence and perseverance. The art of writing is a fight with oneself and the art itself. A translation of thoughts in the smoothest way possible.