|Shooting stars are, after all, made of flaming stones|
hurling themselves through the sky.
Photo by Stuart Heath
What it takes to make a shooting star
I’ve got to tell you something difficult, perhaps a little embarrassing. This is not easy, writing these essays. In fact a lot of the time it’s really rather super extremely painful and I’m left thinking about how much less stress there would be in my life week to week if I stopped writing for awhile.
Sometimes I have only mere slivers of stories to share, other times absolutely nothing. Neither seem enough to bother printing. Other times I need to really dig deep into something with about 2,500 words, but those are just too complex and a tad on the long side for this spot. I don’t have time to do those plus the rest of my work.
Truth be told, sometimes I resort to sending work out that I’m not happy with. The way I write, I usually find one or two turned phrases that came to fruition only through the other 700 words surrounding them.
Is it still worth it then? Is the rest of the time and energy worth the two catchiest phrases in the whole piece - the two shooting stars?
What are my options here? Do I forego writing a column for a week until I can get my ducks in a row, or do I spit out something mediocre - something that’s not exactly right and certainly not honed?
One journalist I follow on Twitter recently said this: "Writers put themselves through hell for peanuts and write off anxiety as a personal problem.”
That kinda hits the nail on the head. For the sake of thinking broader, let’s call the writer/artist/whatever a builder, so we can see how far this concept actually stretches. The builder wants his project to be perfect, wants it to shine like a diamond in the rough, stand upon a windy mountain top, burn like a ball of fire in the sky. He or she wants it to be memorable, stoic, steady and stalwart. The project should be built as something for a portfolio - an example of his or her best work.
What stress that is, to consider all of that each time you sit at the keyboard, err, excuse me, each time you’re about to pour the concrete...