Why writing sucks (but I can’t stop)
author: ethan butterfield | a&c editor
Pen, paper, sadness. / Pixabay
Always writing, never resting.
I don’t mean to start off on a negative note at the beginning this piece, but it’s honestly the note I have to start off on. Writing drives me crazy. I wish I could go back to when I was Grade 11 and tell myself to never pursue writing. I know exactly what I would say, too: “Yeah, trust me man, it’s not worth it, it’s days upon days off looking a blank piece of paper, getting mad at yourself for not being good enough, and then repeating the cycle until you have at least one page of something you like.” Now, just to make it clear, just because I want to deter myself from continuing to put words on things, does not mean you have to by any means.
Although, I will say that if I could deter you, I would. I wouldn’t want anyone to experience the late nights I’ve had to go through pouring over pages and looking over sentences so many times until they make some kind of sense in my head. This is especially true when it comes to essays. Of course, whether or not you’re a writer, you’ll have to write essays anyway. However, I’ll tell any aspiring writer out there right now, do not wait last minute to write an essay. Just because you have the ability to do it (not saying that I do) with only a few precious seconds remaining on the clock, doesn’t mean you should.
Now, I’m sure at this point in the piece you’re reading everything and thinking, “What the hell is this guy talking about?” Well, long story short, I feel I’ve come to the conclusion that perhaps I should take an extended vacation from writing, or that, at the very least, I should warn those out there that there’s a small piece of your soul that gets lost in the writing process (or in my case writing and editing... always writing and editing). You think it’s all coming up with interesting stories and unique ideas? You think it’s just talking about the things that interest you? Well it’s not. Well… actually, it is, but there’s also the constant lingering stress of making sure everything is perfect (as I mentioned above). It’s also the constant lingering stress of trying to talk about things that everyone’s passionate about so that you don’t alienation anyone in your life that you care about (that might be a bit dramatic).
It’s not just the writing that’s stressful, it’s figuring out what to write. Again, using essays and articles as an example, have you ever been looking a piece of digital paper wondering, “What should I try to discuss for my research paper?” or, with regards to articles, wondering, “Oh boy, I hope this piece doesn’t piss anyone off?” If you said yes to either of these, congrats, you now feel my ever-constant agony.
That all being said, I’m sure there at least a few of you going to say that I don’t know what I’m talking about or that maybe I’m just going through something at the moment, and honestly, you’re probably right. At the same time, though, I feel like I might have to take a long look in the mirror and figure out what the heck I’m doing to myself. I really do need a vacation.