Enjoying Your Own Writing

Remember the last time you wrote something really good? I mean REALLY good? Maybe something you set aside for a little while and upon revisiting it you thought, “Did I really write this?” Something that fuels imagination, incites rage, or simply gives you goosebumps. It’s for those moments that I write. To be honest, it’s for those moments that I live for.

But lets step back and look at my life. This month is all about getting a glimpse into the world of our fellow fictorians. For my day job, I’m a Software Engineer. I write code and I love it. I guess it makes sense. During the day I get to write clever algorithm and create new software. At night I get to write clever prose and create new worlds. In both jobs, my favorite moments come when I can look at something I wrote, be it code or prose, and bask in my own brilliance.

Now, I guess there is something that makes those moments so special for me. They happen, but not as often as I would like. I guess one of the problems with writing every day, for a long time, is that you get used to it. You come to learn what to expect with your abilities and you don’t always end up pushing the envelope. In coding it is the well understood, easy to read code usually is always the best. A favorite quotes goes as follows:
“Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it.” –Brian Kernighan

The same goes for writing. You learn what works and what doesn’t. To some degree, writing is taking pieces of a novel and putting them together in the right order to keep the reader entertained. If you make it too clever, or too convoluted, you’ll lose a lot of readers who just want a simple novel. The chances of doing something really amazing sometimes feel few and far between.

But that doesn’t mean it never happens. Sometimes magic strikes, and sometimes I can channel that magic to create pure brilliance on the screen. When I read it later, the magic is still there and it flares to life. And sometimes, I forget all the mistakes I’ve made. I forget the negative criticism I’ve received. I forget all the rejection letters I have. Sometimes I know that I am a writer, and this is why I write.

And that’s why I keep writing.

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