Writing is simple

I complicate things unnecessarily. Writing is simple. You write and edit until the piece of work feels complete and there is nothing more to do.

Writing in my notebook, the sentences disappear behind me unedited, a raw trail of thoughts, and I can’t write good sentences first time, so it’s like a conversation with someone rather than a piece of writing for others. It helps organise my thoughts.

As a writer, I want my sentences to be crafted for clarity and expressive power, and I want to think they might be read by an audience. Publishing on a website is one way of making myself pay more attention to what I’m trying to say and how I say it. To publish means to prepare and make available for a readership. It implies a degree of pride and care in what is being presented.

As I develop this piece of writing, I can already feel an urge to publish it. Is it complete now? Perhaps. Instead I’m going to reflect on why I want to stop at this point.

I think the end of that third paragraph is the completion of an idea, and three paragraphs is how long I’ve tended to make the many film pieces I’ve published on here. There’s an established length in my mind that I might be working to. And then there’s seeing it appear on my website, available to the world, which gives me a hit of dopamine. That’s addictive. It takes effort to delay that gratification.

A tweet (yes, I know) takes moments to write and can be published immediately. A novel might never get published. It’s my responsibility to decide what I want to put into the world, what risks I’m willing to take to do that, and how to build tolerance for the ambiguous present and unknowable future.