22 May 2014

Writing Process

It seems to me that if a little flower could speak, it would tell simply all what God has done for it without trying to hide its blessings. It would not say, under the pretext of a false humility, it is not beautiful or without perfume, that the sun has taken away its splendor and the storm has broken its stem when it know that all this is untrue. The flower about to tell her story rejoices at having to publish the totally gratuitous gifts of Jesus. She knows that nothing in herself was capable of attracting the divine glances, and His mercy alone brought about everything that is good in her.

- Thérèse de Lisieux

I read a blog post last week by an author who was writing about the writing process, mostly referring to a recent story he had written. He struggled with writing the story, as ideas suddenly came to a halt. He pointed out that most of us seek moments of pure inspiration that strike us when our mind races to keep up as the pen flies across the page.

I can relate to that. I tend to enjoy when the content in my mind spills out onto the page as the words flow so easily. It's almost gleeful when my hand hurts from writing so much.

But he said that's not where his best writing comes from.

Wait. What?

He explained that his best writing comes as a result from the labour and hard work behind forming the sentences when he is trying to keep at it and not let the story go. It is about pushing through those dull moments when you sit with a blank page and no ideas. It is when you take time to ponder and to gather new thoughts and explore something deeper. It is a struggle. It tugs and pulls on your heart. Part of being creative is sticking with it even when it is slow like molasses.

That is the true craft of writing and the possible source of something good. To be able to produce something beautiful, not because it was easy, but because it was hard.

Isn't that how life is?

It's not the easy life that is the best, it is with hard work that you get to become a better you. You come out from a challenge much more equipped, wiser, and more appreciative of your life.

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