Why Writing Is So Hard

by Chris de Serres

It’s okay to feel alone.  I have a family who loves and supports me but my writing is a space that is solitary.  It has to be otherwise it’s not genuine.  I don’t hide my writing from my wife.  What I did tell her was to remember that each piece of writing is how I happen to be feeling in that moment of time.  It doesn’t reflect my global feelings.  To know who I am and what I believe you have to read thousands of the pages of my life.

Writing is scary.  My own emotions and feelings are often selfish, angry, and vindictive things.  I can make myself look really bad when I write.  But it’s unconscious.  The writing has to happen in whatever fancy suits it.  It’s why we have to feel isolated and alone in our grief.

Writing is hard.  We live our lives behind social masks.  I can’t feel true to my writing unless I figure out how to take it off.  Sometimes I need a couple of sentences.  Other times I write pages and pages of what I think I want before I can something that is the truth.  Yet, when it comes off there is no greater pleasure in allowing ourselves those fleeting moments.  The pleasure of being seen, of seeing ourselves.

It’s a mirror and it often doesn’t look good.  I criticize myself viciously.  I judge others.  Family members.  Close friends.  Those I love the most are the ‘material’ that is needed to bring life to my words.  Yet, it is not them.  It is a mixture of all the emotions surrounding those beloved people.

When I read other’s writing they seem so much more brilliant, so refined, so clever, so much better than me.  Yet, I usually know nothing about how they got there.  Which relationships they lost.  How many years they toiled.  I know nothing.

Writing is the hardest thing I do.  It’s a therapy I actively pursue.  Yet it will always be me.  In that I am alone.