Posted by: jeannineatkins | June 24, 2010

Does hard-to-write mean good-to-read?

I’ve been complaining about doing some hard slow writing. And friends have been raising their hands saying that they’ve been covertly whining, too. How I love company! Though I wish us all happier days.

I’ve led or taken part in some writing workshops in which people have read brilliant first drafts,
as if words had been waiting all along. But I’m not that kind of writer. Wrestling has always been involved.

Every time I’m told, or tell myself, go back for another round, I cringe and moan and sputter. But soon enough – no, never soon enough –I see: okay maybe this is better than what I did before.

Even I know that writing isn’t exercise, but if you’ll excuse the metaphor, I’m more a if-it-feels-bad-it’s-not-yoga person than feel-the-burn. I don’t see much use for pain. I don’t want to glorify the struggle that writing can sometimes be. But I also can see some good that comes out of a little bit of agony, though I’m going to take it with some cathartic complaining, another glass of iced tea, and I suppose another cookie, too.

Taking the rocky road may mean we’re more likely to find a view nobody ever else has quite caught.



  1. I must be writing a page-turner, then.

  2. I’m all for the glass of iced tea and cookie when the going gets tough. 🙂

  3. Agony does seem to be the process of getting us to the beauty, doesn’t it? LOVE your last line. That’s the magic of story.

  4. Does hard-to-write mean good-to-read?

    I certainly hope so.

  5. I bet you are. Hoping you have happier days with it as summer rolls along.

  6. The ice tea is brewing….

  7. But at last aren’t you in the single digits before your debut hits the shelves? This is the time to enjoy!

  8. Re: Does hard-to-write mean good-to-read?

    In your case, Jody, I’m saying yes.

  9. Rocky roads seem to be my stock in trade, so I hope you’re right. But knowing that I’ll meet up with you for iced tea and cookies along the way makes the journey sweeter.

  10. SIX DAYS!!! I can’t quite believe it, but I should believe it because I’ve been doing 15 hour days for a month trying to get ready with parties to plan and book-signings and book talks and interviews to write, etc. I’m also trying to get the next book written that’s under contract. 🙂

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