A Quote for the Ages

Writing is living in the balance between “about to give birth” and “about to shit.”

-Leslie Lanagan

How can you say that? That’s disgusting. Writing t’aint that hard. Really? REALLY? If your blank piece of paper isn’t gnawing at your soul, you’re not doing it right… unless you’re only writing for yourself. Why is it different? BECAUSE NO ONE WANTS TO READ ABOUT WHAT YOU HAD FOR LUNCH.

No, writing is responsive. Life throws you all you can handle and then keeps piling. Life is glorious and fleeting and full of pain. It deserves further examination in able to take life on life’s terms, rather than bending it to your will.

I am certain that there are people who would disagree with me- CEOs, Directors, etc. Of course there is a certain amount of making your life fit you, but the happiest execs I know are the ones who say, “wow- this is more than I ever expected. I’m not sure how I got here, but I’m glad I did.”

That’s not bending life so much as saying yes to what’s presented… made easier by a firm grasp on how you really feel- you know, in that place in the middle of your chest that gets tight when things are getting harder and you don’t know what to do.

Try and get that out without a sweat.

But here’s the payoff- all that sweat and tears will bring you a reader. And maybe that reader is a friend of yours, or maybe they live in Belgium. Whatever. But they’re going through the same thing. They’ll tell you that they never thought about it that way… the way you’ve presented it… and a point of connection exists that wasn’t there before. Over time, people will gather. And then it will be three months and then three years of great writing that reaches people across continents who will pick you up when you are down and turn into stark-raving psychopaths if someone tries to put you down via the Internet.

And if you’re lucky, that shared connection will create a cultural thing, like Dooce’s firing, Wil Wheaton’s interaction with WILLIAM FUCKING SHATNER, and Jenny Lawson’s giant metal chicken named “Beyonce.”

So give birth. Learn why writing is hard. It’s worth it.

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