Writing isn't freaking Yoda. "Do or do not, there is no try." Yeah, I could crank out words arranged in roughly grammatical order, but that's no more what I want than Bach wanting to "make a sound."
Not to be dramatic. Okay too late. This writing stuff is freaking agonizing. I look back at some of the things I've written and they are complete hatchet jobs, and other things I am proud of are viewed of as hackery by others. It's as humbling an exercise as there is, putting your thoughts "out there."
The key is that you always come back to it. It's always there, in the background. Like a secret fetish(uh, I imagine this to be true), lurking, tempting. It sucks. You put it away a few days or months or years, but you've always been drawn to it. So it is for me. I find myself writing after a hiatus where I tried speaking it, but writing has always been more effective. Speaking has fumbles. Writing has rewriting. Solved.
Barbara Ehrenreich on writing:
You go to bed wondering if you've boxed yourself in with a digression or a point that should come later on. You wake up at 4 AM to scratch out a solution on scrap paper. Sometimes you're elated; more often you're convinced you've produced a pile of unsalvageable crap. If you want to be a writer, prepare to be bipolar, paranoid (that's when everything in the world seems to be part of your theme), and, a lot of the time, solitary, sleepless and poor.
That's inspirational, isn't it? But like any exercise in self-expression, we're just driven to do it. In the end it's not really important that anyone reads it. Just that we finished it, it was our thinking that produced it, and it seemed vitally, critically important at the time. You didn't like it? What makes you think it was created for you? It was done for us, the artist ourselves. I used to think that so much in art was stupid, was masturbatory, was self-aggrandizement, missing the point entirely. OF COURSE IT IS YOU IDIOT. Art IS self-congratulatory, self-indulgent, self-centered, because it is based in the idea that there is an important thought that I have and it is better than the thoughts that are out there and I must express it. Art of all kinds is the desire to immortalize one's self, to make yourself bigger than life, forever, to capture something you feel is important right now and will ever be important. It is consuming and ridiculous passion, flame of thought made real.
Art. Pshhht. Writing. Pfah. Stupid. Necessary. Frustrating. Elating. Why anyone reads this is beyond me. Why anyone doesn't is preposterous.