I recently had an idea for a fantastic essay about writing. It would prove controversial, but hold merit; it would change the world, or at least help my post hit a high retweet number. (Which to honest, because I’m terminally competitive, would scratch a persistent itch.)
Problem was, I couldn’t nail the voice.
I knew it was partly that the feelings were too fresh. I was angry and hurt. Worse, I was disappointed in myself for feeling angry and hurt. Still, what I wanted to say felt big enough to try to push through, and I wanted to silence an inner critic. You know? The one that says professional writers would suck it up and git ‘er done, so what was my problem?
Aiming for objectivity, I walked, meditated, wrote approximately twenty first drafts in both earnest and comedic tones. I wrote my post in parable, wrote it in limerick, looked for visual metaphors. About the only thing I didn’t try was smoke signals, but since our weather has been crappy and the woodpile soaked, that seemed impractical at best.
At last I struck gold. My post arrived as a gift — swift, authentic, sideways from what I’d intended, nevertheless, done. I sent it to some writing friends, just to confirm I’d finally hit my stride, and the response came back a uniform O.~