Uncomfortable truths

June 25, 2015 § 4 Comments

Other people’s words about … writing

Today, some words about the process of writing by someone who can put it far better than I can:

I’m a little uncertain, actually, about what role writing will play in my life from this point forward. Working on this last book has allowed me to see certain uncomfortable truths about the whole process. I’ve always known that the best part of writing occurs before you’ve picked up a pen. When a story exists only in your mind, its potential is infinite; it’s only when you start pinning words to paper that it becomes less than perfect. You have to make your choices, set your limits. Start whittling away at the cosmos, and don’t stop until you’ve narrowed it down to a single, ordinary speck of dirt. And in the end, what you’ve made is not nearly as glorious as what you’ve thrown away.

From The Nobodies Album
by Carolyn Parkhurst

Such grandiose words, aren’t they? — ‘whittling away at the cosmos’.
And yet …

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§ 4 Responses to Uncomfortable truths

  • Thos says:

    Good one, Bec — though I think the writer is almost always her (or his) own toughest critic. Readers are more inclined than its author to find the work perfect.

  • Jill Burton says:

    Maybe writing is a limited dimension? Or operates in limited dimensions? For the reader and the thinker-pre-writer, the world–and thoughts–are limitless.

    • Rebecca says:

      I like the idea of it being a dimension. That’s a useful way to look at it — one dimension of a much broader spectrum (to mix my metaphors) …

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