One of the first things you learn as a writer is how to lower your expectations, lest you self-immolate.
Then, there’s the (very gradual) acceptance that your taste for great, great literature clearly exceeds your abilities…followed by a lifelong struggle to rectify that.
My transition from journalist to author — and then balancing the two — felt like an imperative, because I longed to delve more deeply into the topics about which I was writing. In journalism, there’s this need to retain a sense of immediacy at all times in a story, forcing current events to the forefront and important things like context and history into the background. Sure, there’s a little context, but it always takes a back seat — a waaay back seat — to unfolding events.
Yet you know as the writer that context and history mean everything. Hence, you are always fighting to put as much extra information as you can into whatever you’re writing.
Getting the necessary financing and logistics in place to allow yourself to write comfortably for months on end is, from a scale of 1 to 10, a solid 10 in terms of difficulty. I found that hewing to one goal — publishing my first book and then moving on to long-form writing — was the only way to get through to the other side. Anything between me and that had to be eradicated, and was. Although I did not know what lay on the other side. Continue reading On Writing…And The Point Of It All