There is no writing more precious and self-indulgent than the essay about the difficulty of writing, so I will not write an essay about that. The truth is that writing is easy if you have a little talent. A little talent affords some writers a fine living, in fact. The only real pain comes not from the act of writing, but from a voice hovering in your ear, which may be your conscience or your mother but most likely is the devil, whispering: They’re not going to like it.
What does the devil get for his trouble? A cheapening of words. Another breezy, bullshitty essay, or another snarky, hopeless one: It makes little difference; the devil edits them all.
(See how he’s angling for your sympathy, with his poor-tortured-truthful-soul-in-a-sea-of-mendacity shtick?) [Read more...]