Some Thoughts on The Agony of Writing
A friend , who is also a fellow writer, and I have recently been discussing the problem of finding voice. Specifically, he worries that he has no voice and even more specifically that his words do not amount to much. When we first meant I took him at his word, but the more we discuss the issue, I’ve realized that he may be a bit too critical of himself. He may be mistaking the difficulty of writing with an inability to write with voice.
When he speaks I not only hear a unique attitude and tone, but a plethora of ideas, which he has obviously spent many hours thinking over. The spirit of his writing is there in his mind; the difficulty is putting it on paper and accepting what ends up on the paper to some degree.
The point is that creating something is often agonizing. Writers have so many ideas in their minds and their goal is to translate them flawlessly into words, sentences, paragraphs. Very few writers write with complete inspiration, some sort of magical prose being emptied onto a page. So, it becomes easy to question ones voice when the process is painful and sometimes foreign. But, it is only in this pain that voice becomes apparent, lucid, and unique. It has often been said that the best art is created in the light of tragedy. It may follow that the best writing comes from the pains inherent in writing.