We writers are a peculiar bunch…

July 6, 2009 12:36am
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I read this really intriguing piece by Wil Wheaton a week or so ago that I’ve been meaning to sit down and write about, but I keep getting sidetracked. Nonetheless, I’ve got a short bit of time now, so here we go…

Anyways, Wil was commenting on yet another writer’s thoughts on the writing process itself and what we writers go through in that process, and I was amused because I can definitely relate to the whole five hours of brainstorming, fifteen minutes of actual writing-concept. It happens to me mostly with my columns – I’ll mull about for the better part of a day, nitpicking little ideas in my head here or there as I do just about everything except actually writing, and when I finally find myself actually hitting the keys, the time for that particular portion of the process flies by fairly quickly. Which sucks because it ends up being an incredibly frustrating way to work sometimes because I’m sure many writers will vouch that right up until those last keystrokes fall, our day pretty much feels like a wash, with that final copy being our only validation for a successful day’s work. Mind you, it’s not always that rough, but when it is – look out!

That said, I think what I enjoyed the most about Wil’s post was the part at the very end when he mentions his family’s “support” of his process because I find myself in those kinds of situations with my wife more and more. Fortunately, Sara’s awesomely supportive about it, to where at this point she doesn’t even bat an eye when I stop to scribble some notes on the back of a receipt or simply need to take a moment to organize something (seemingly) amusing that just took place when we’re out and about. She’s come to accept that even when I don’t have a keyboard in hand, often times I’m brainstorming or considering possible ideas at any given moment, and she’s ok with that because she understands just how vital those little nuggets can be when they finally do come about. Granted, sometimes it might be because she can also relate that getting that kind of stuff down on paper can mean the difference between that week’s humor column being a fairly painless endurance and it stretching out for several hours each night right up until the last possible minute, which ultimately cuts into our time together, but regardless, she also genuinely knows how important it is to me and it’s a unique kind of support that I know I couldn’t expect everybody to understand.

I think creative types in general are a unique breed and sometimes it’s even more difficult because a lot of things are just really tough to explain to someone who hasn’t gone through the motions of staying up until 3am rewriting the same sentence over and over again, or worse, struggling to even get a lead on that first sentence! Then again, when put side by side with the mindless, everyday work that I’m currently doing to pay the bills, can you guess which one I’d rather be doing full time? I suppose as they say, no pain, no gain…

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