On Writing

Dear Constant Reader,

I have  a complicated relationship with writing. It’s my main form of communication, but I don’t think I’m a good writer. Writing is a slow and painstaking process for me and I’m never confident in the result. It can take me weeks to write one book review here. I agonize over word choice and sentence structure. And I’m always a little embarrassed to hit “Publish”.

So it surprises the hell out of me when people praise my writing. I received a number of compliments on my most recent post, specifically on the beautiful writing. I’m not used to that.

I think my adversarial relationship with writing began in 6th grade at an awful school with a terrible English teacher. I decided I hated writing and my skills deteriorated. Oh the irony — I was in a gifted program and remedial writing classes. I was so miserable there that my parents decided to send me to private school, which made a lot of things better, but writing was still a struggle

Through college and grad school and a certificate program, I brute forced my way though essays and papers and theses. Over the years I’ve been told my writing was stilted, too formal, awkward, not natural.

Through out the years, however, I’ve kept a paper journal and an electronic one (remember LiveJournal?) and a pen-and-paper correspondence with a dear friend (I probably owe you a letter!) and of course, this blog, which is over ten years old! (How did I miss that anniversary…?). I’ve found a sort of pleasure in writing, but it still doesn’t come easily. I still can’t believe I put out two books.

So, I’m not used to getting compliments on my writing. But I appreciate it so much. Thank you for your kind words.


P.S. Just for the record, it took me three days to put together this little missive.