Do or Do Not.

Effortless

without comments

Though John Scalzi’s list of fifteen observations about his relationship to his writing features a number of points that had me nodding my head in recognition, one in particular stuck a bit of a familiar chord with me:

…I do have to say that one of my great challenges as a writer is making sure that my writing is more than merely facile.

Putting words together is easy for me. [1] Always has been. And I think it’s perhaps always been a little bit too much so: because putting words together in an effective, competent way has always come easily, I’ve been able to rely on that fact alone and haven’t really put as much thought into what I’m trying to say. Because the how comes without needing much brainpower, the what gets slighted. You might think that since the how is easy, the what would acutally get more attention, but, well, that doesn’t seem to be the way my brain works. I’ve never thought of myself as mentally lazy, but evidence seems to suggest that might very well be the case.

When I’m faced with something that simply requires a substantial amount of work, something that won’t let me just glide through–like, f’r instance, designing the plot of a story–I get frustrated when it doesn’t come as effortlessly as the wordcraft…and I give up. This problem of certain things being too easy and my consequently not working hard enough on the more difficult aspects of said thing has actually been something of a recurrent theme for me in my life, affecting everything from my schoolwork to my artwork, but that’s likely the subject of another post.

The nature of this whole blogging thing doesn’t help the lack of effort much of the time; in a push to get something done and published, I don’t put as much polish on some bits as perhaps I should and end up disappointed with the results [2]. “It’s just a blog,” I hear you say; “what does it really matter? It’s not expected to be particularly exceptional, is it?” Well, perhaps, but given that blogging is the bulk of the writing I’ve been doing lately, I think I really should try harder. [3] And the ol’ Do or Do Not is something of my public writing face, so I really should put my best words forward, so to speak.

Anyways, all of this is to say I’m going to try to engage my brain (and, if I can manage it, yours) and put some more effort into what shows up here from now on. Posts of Hugely Enormous Quality coming your way soon!

[1] I’d wager this is likely true of a great many of the people reading this post, too…I seem to know an amazingly high number of good–I mean really good–writers. [2] One recent post in particular could’ve used some more mental elbow grease and it might’ve been something really good. As it stands, it just feels like a missed opporutunity for something really good. [3] Also, honestly, I’d like not to embarass myself overmuch in front of all of those aforementioned excellent writer friends.

Written by Allen

December 15th, 2005 at 3:37 pm

Posted in Writing

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