Worried about writing

Writing is a peculiar profession.

It's an art, yet it's a craft. 

Talent is good, but not always the key to accomplishment.

It's never quite finished.

I've been writing, like most people, all my life. The words I've written, stacked up, would reach to the moon and back, I'm sure.

But still, I worry that I have not written enough, or that what I've written does not meet my own internal standards, which are always changing, moving just ahead of me as I learn more about how wonderful and life-altering writing can be.

The craft part of writing is not too hard to grasp. There are rules, conventions, styles, common practices, and other guidelines for evaluating writing.

The art part is next to impossible to understand. Good writing moves you, but it's hard to say exactly how. Words arranged a certain way can make the spirit soar, or crash. Poetry is meant to move you; prose, not so much, but it happens.

Talent can languish, be buried, or be lazily ignored by the talentee.

Unlike a painting, which is at some point declared "done" and preserved in that state, writing is always in a state of being edited, at least mentally, by the reader. The reader makes a hefty investment in a story or poem, leading to a feeling of mutuality with the writer that encourages spontaneous comments about improvements. This is editing.

I worry about writing. Am I doing enough? Does anyone read it with the love and attention I put into it? Will my writing outlive me?

I write about my worrying about writing. There is no end to my worrying, or my writing.


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