Day 26 – Maybe good writing, maybe not

Day twenty-six of my 365 Day Writing Project.

Time: 1.5 hours

Words: 1,000

I didn’t exactly light it up with my writing today, but I kept it steady. Sometimes while I am writing, the story seems to drag. What I can’t figure out is whether the content of the story itself drags or just my process of writing it does. That may sound a bit ridiculous, but maybe other writers can relate. It can be difficult for us to know whether what we are writing at the time is any good. Too often, we think it isn’t. Is that how artists of any kind think?

I like the story I am writing. I would like to believe this is all that matters. But it isn’t. How I write the story – how I tell it – is what matters. It isn’t the content. It’s the way in which it is communicated to the reader. So if the story drags, it can’t be the content of the story that is at fault. It is the writing. A paragraph about a single leaf on a tree limb can be utterly compelling if it is written well. Likewise, a paragraph about a philandering drug addict with stature, money, a beautiful family and a seat in Congress can be completely dull if written poorly. The difficulty writers can have in identifying the problem, however, is that reading the writing is entirely different from writing it.