I am a terrible writer.
I mean that not in the sense that I’m stylistically terrible, or grammatically terrible (though this sentence probably qualifies as the latter), but rather that I’m just really terrible at sitting down and actually writing.
For everything I publish on this site, there’s something else that never made it out of the Drafts folder. For everything that I actually start writing, there are probably two or three pieces that I plotted out in the shower that morning and didn’t sit down to outline or even so much as reserve a title before they slipped my mind.
I’ve considered the merits of getting some sort of waterproof writing apparatus, but I’m fairly sure that if I did I’d be dead from trench foot within the month.
I’ve had a novel under construction in a thoroughly desultory fashion now for years. Admittedly, part of that has to do with the way it was being written; in short bursts as a creative outlet when I got too frustrated with schoolwork to stand writing yet another pointless analysis of someone else’s work. Turns out that while you can wind up with some excellent vignettes writing in that fashion, stitching them together into a cohesive whole can make you want to pull out your hair.
Did I mention I shave my head?
I’ve considered writing myself a schedule, wherein I sit down at this time of the evening and write for this long every day, but realistically I know that there’s functionally no chance of my actually adhering to that. I’m punctual not out of any inherent sense of discipline, but because being late is rude, and I can’t abide rudeness.
And I can’t be rude to myself. Believe me, I’ve tried.
Note that if I were being paid to write it would be an entirely different story. Not that I’d suddenly turn into some sort of creative powerhouse, of course, but I do firmly believe in meeting obligations I’ve accepted voluntarily. I’m pretty sure I’d still give my agent fits (if I had such a thing), but I think I turned in college I turned in one paper past the due date ever, and that was a bit of a rough week. I’ve considered the merits of something like Patreon, but realistically maybe 50 people read my typical blog posts (that WordPress tells me about, at least), and unless I figure out the whole self-promotion thing that’s unlikely to change.
I think what it boils down to is that I enjoy the thinking process more than the actual writing process. I like organizing my thoughts, clarifying my logic, considerably more than trying to make it all make sense to other people. The actual writing only takes place when I’m in the proper mood, which is to say that it takes place pretty damned rarely.
So what’s the point of this post?
There isn’t one.
I just found the irony appealing; feeling compelled to write a piece about how I fail to write. There’s something strangely zen about the whole affair; the knowledge that in many ways we are prisoners to warring compulsions, even when they contradict.
But maybe I’m just weird.