Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Terminal Cancer of the Writer

Ever have one of those days? You know, a day when every word, every sentence, every paragraph sounds like a juvenile, moronic, wannabe writer wrote it? The scene couldn't have stiffer characters, lamer dialogue, more pedestrian description (baby blue eyes? Seriously?).... You have the motivation, the hunger, the knowledge, yet, with sentence after sentence, a dismal truth blooms in your mind: you really are a charlatan, a dilettante, an incompetent fool.

You are quite certain that if by some chance you could instantaneously pluck the worst writer on the planet from the huddling, scribbling masses that you would be that guy. No photo-finish, no tight race with hanging chads. Yep, far and away the winner, you're the one, THE worst writer alive, blissfully unaware, pounding out your middling prose as if it were the next prize winner.

Okay, you get the point. It's the enemy, the devil of all good prose. The terminal cancer of the writer. So, now, you've diagnosed--perhaps even self-medicated (more whiskey, Mr. Fitzgerald?). What do you do about it?

I'll get back to you....


Carol Peters said...

you keep on writin'

Paula said...

Read some of your favorite writers. Then sit down and mimic them. Even though you won't want to do that in your own work, this kind of exercise will tone your writing muscles, Sean.