The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Writing Life

by Andrew Tibbetts


The thrills of the writing life are special. Like a handful of diamonds scattered in a field of mud, they are too precious to give up on. But the mud! The mud! You’ve heard the litany: hours of staring at blank computer screens or pages, hours of changing sentences around and back over and over again, hours of empty-head, the moment where you realize the great outpouring of writing from yesterday has revealed itself this morning to be shit, the moment where you realize you have completely stolen this plot from a movie you saw last year and your version isn’t even as good, the moments where its undeniable that you are a bad writer but can’t stop yourself, the rejection letters, the waiting and waiting and waiting for rejection letters, the acceptance letters that are subsequently invalid because of the folding of magazines or production houses, hearing from a friend or acquaintance that your writing is ‘interesting’, watching the eyes glaze over when you tell a new person what you do, and back, back, back again to the blank computer screen. Why would any sane person put up with it?

Yesterday, I was commissioned. For the first time in my writing life an editor approached me to write X for Y dollars. The relative size of x or y is immaterial. This is one of those diamonds, one of those writing life diamonds that turn the mud into the most exquisite backdrop possible.

And now to the blank screen to carve x out of nothing.

3 Comments:

Blogger Anne C. said...

Cool!

Wed Jul 11, 01:34:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

So true about the writing life, Andrew. Congrats on the commission. A diamond in the mud, indeed.

Wed Jul 11, 02:21:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Chumplet said...

Here's to wishing you a fabulous x and lots of y!

Thu Jul 12, 09:32:00 pm GMT-4  

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