Two book covers, partially hidden.

Picked up Brother of the More Famous Jack. Barbara Trapido is an incredible writer. Nagging envy made me put it down after the first five pages. I’m a reader, thank God, but the writer in me takes a toll from everything I read. Reading is a solace; films too. Writing is torture.

Don’t edit the first draft. That’s the story told, and it might work for some, but it’s never worked for me. The advice is a mirage. When you are thirsty in a desert you are desperate for the oasis. Don’t censor—I agree with that. But don’t edit? Editing is where the work happens. For me. If you can bash out a solid first draft, I’m ragingly envious, but good for you. Enjoy. But editing is the activity that allows my unconscious to do its work. I don’t trust simple answers to complex questions. I know what has worked in writing a novel, and it was a difficult, draining path. But then, it could be I am a difficult and draining person.

I wish I enjoyed it more, that’s all. I wish that I believed more forcefully that writing was worth the effort and agonies. To write again I would have to put aside duties and comforts. The thing that hurts is that I don’t feel like I have a choice in whether I write or not. Turning away from the fight doesn’t mean the fighting stops, it prolongs it and lets it get meaner and dirtier. A writer not writing is carrying an infection of the soul. But I’ve said all this before with different words. I don’t want to be that writer who writes about a writer who doesn’t write. Christ, I exhaust myself.