IN WHICH We Rediscover the Joy and Terror of Writing

I wrote yesterday.

Sitting on the couch next to my sick daughter who was writing a paper about environmental something-or-other between bouts of coughing up a lung, I wrote. It was a quiet time, in spite of the respiratory sound effects, and productive. Yes, in that way too.

But I can’t quite believe how hard it was to start, after all this time has passed not writing. How much sheer nerve and determination it took to put my fingers on the keyboard and touch the letters that would make the words of that first sentence. And then the next. The uncertainty was awful.

So when I had done as much as I dared, which was quite a bit, I stopped and said, “I just wrote a scene.”


“In my book. I wrote a scene.”

“Good. That’s good.”

“I haven’t written in months. Since maybe October.”

“Mom!” Ah. Now I had her attention. “What the hell is wrong with you?” she demanded.

No one does indignant disbelief quite like an idealistic college student.

“I took a break from it. I had to re-think some things in the plot and then there were the holidays and then work has been crazy . . .” I know, it sounded pretty weak.

“Well, geez, would you hurry up already?”

“I’m trying. But I just don’t think it’s any good. No one is going to want to read this crap.”

“It’s not crap,” she said. “And I want to read it. Other people will, too.”

“But I’m afraid it’s boring. Boring and ordinary and stupid.”

“Mom, it can’t possibly be as boring as bio-technology.”

Point taken.

“Can I quote you on that? Maybe use it as a cover blurb?”

Now she’s laughing, too. “Sure, mom. Whatever. Just finish it, okay?”

So, I wrote yesterday. It was scary. And distressingly unfamiliar. Probably I’m going to have to delete much of it and do some heavy editing of what’s left.

But still, it felt good.

I’m going to try it again, tonight.


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5 responses to “IN WHICH We Rediscover the Joy and Terror of Writing

  1. LtL

    Picture a granny cheerleader. If we’re not to have your posts at the B&G, then we must have your fiction. One or the other, missy. Good vibes to college student.


  2. McB

    Soooo glad to hear you are back to writing. You have a great voice and I enjoyed that one tiny bit you gave us a while back. It will not be boring and ordinary, or stupid.

    I have spoken. Let it be so.


  3. Anonymous

    You are making my day by hearing that you are once again writing the story that a lot of us are waiting to read.
    Glad to know you all are feeling better.


  4. Merry

    Pardon my bachelor’s degree, but biotechnology can be pretty darn interesting, thankyouverymuch.

    Although, if you don’t find it interesting you certainly shouldn’t write about it. I’ve read enough text books to vouch for that!

    wzutqz – a clear, obvious statement written by an expert in biotechnology


  5. Robin

    Way to go BCB.
    It is so scary trying to write after not doing it for months. You did much better than I have. I’ve been writing first sentences, crossing them out and doing this for pages.

    You have motivated me to really get something written–good bad or indifferent I am going to get a whole scene written today.

    And I want to read your book so I’m with your DD. Get it done already.