I hate writing. I love writing.

Writing frustrates me.

Sure, I get great ideas now and then, and I jot them down, but later when I sit down to flesh them out, I too often find that my notes aren’t enough to fully recapture the moment, and it is lost.  I miss my lost, unexpressed epiphanies.

Another (related) problem is saying what I wish in just the right way.  This difficulty sometimes manifests itself when I have written something one way and wish to make it clearer, more concise, or otherwise better.  But it most often occurs right at the keyboard as I’m trying to get something out the first time.  Naturally I am aware that what I type is not permanent, yet I hesitate even to commit electrons and pixels if it’s not perfect.

And there it is.  I guess you could call me a perfectionist when it comes to writing, but mine is a weird perfectionism.  Yes, I feel a desire for what I write to attain some standard of perfection, but I nearly can’t stand sitting there and working it over until such perfection is reached.  I want it to spill freely from my fingertips onto the page, perfectly formed.  If I have to work at it, well that’s not fun, that’s work!  I’d rather go read blogs and emails to which I can easily respond with quick, perfect comments and replies.  Of course such responses tend to be somewhat insubstantial.

Yet after I have managed to overcome the self-censorship and actually write something down, and I have smoothed it out into something worth reading, that’s the miracle!  It is now worth reading!  The original beauty of the thought may be lost somehow in the process of getting out, but as I rearrange and replace the words on the screen, suddenly everything is just right, and there it is!  Beauty emerges, born anew.

As an example, recently I had to write a paper with two main sections.  I spent a lot of time on the first section, and by the due date I was quite pleased with it.  But as I turned the paper in without reworking the second section, I wondered what my professor would say.  When I got it back he had written something about how the second section could have used more attention, but he complimented my writing in the first section.  As I looked over my paper again, the difference in writing quality was indeed quite noticeable.

¶ For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.  (Matt 25:14, 15)

So yes, writing well is difficult.  I have to really work at it, and I also have to work at not running off to do something less strenuous.  Perhaps I was not given as many talents in this arena as others were.  But I can write.  I can keep from digging in the earth and hiding my Lord’s money.

For while having finished a job well done always brings me satisfaction, there’s more at stake.  I’m not just looking for compliments from my professor.  I aim to be faithful over the few things given to me by my Lord.  So now the act of writing takes on a whole new significance.  The struggle continues, but it is now full of meaning.  And it is only at this point, having written this post, that I can finally say

Writing makes me happy.

This entry was posted in General by Ben Pratt. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ben Pratt

I am married to a brilliant and lovely woman. Remarkably, our union has produced three brilliant and lovely daughters! We enjoy reading, going for walks and bike rides, and Friday night pizza picnics in the family room. Descended from Parley P. Pratt (founding editor of this blog's namesake), Charles Henry Wilcken, Zachariah Bruyn Decker, Jesse N. Smith, Frederick G. Williams, and a host of farmers, missionaries, colonizers, businessmen, and pilots, I was raised in Chandler, AZ. I have degrees in physics from both Brigham Young University (BS) and the University of Washington (MS). I earn my filthy lucre teaching physics, mathematics, and fine arts at a public charter school in Mesa, AZ.

22 thoughts on “I hate writing. I love writing.

  1. Ben, I once told a journalism professor of mine that I thought writing was an innate talent. He made it his mission to prove that writing also required hardwork and practice–he was right, of course. I earned an “A” in the class, but only after working my butt off and much sleep deprivation (I took the hardest reporting class of my major during the summer and worked full-time).

    I think lack of time can also be a hinderance to writing and/or blogging. I certainly fall into that category. 🙂

  2. Thanks Ben for a great post. It is good to know that not everyone can sit down compose a brilliant effortless essay at any given time. I am with you on the love hate relationship with writing. I hate it, but cannot live without it. I have to wait for the mood to hit me before I can write. I am more of a story teller rather than a technical writer, consequently for me writing is a long process.

  3. I aim to be faithful over the few things given to me by my Lord.

    I also think it’s sobering to write online when anyone, anywhere *could* access it. We are to be witnesses at all times, and I worry often about that responsibility.

    Thanks for this post. I can relate, on many levels.

  4. Thanks everyone!

    Brian: Yes, writing can be very time-intensive. Since time is so precious, this certainly precludes writing sometimes.

    JA: It is tempting to believe that some folks CAN just sit down and spew out a lovely essay, but I suspect everyone has to work at it to some degree.

    m&m: That’s a powerful point. This stuff is going to be around for a looooong time. There is a pressure to make it count!

  5. I am not sure about that Ben. For example Margaret B. Young’s off the cuff BLOG comments make me cry they are so good. M and M is another one who is very articulate. Me, between the typos, misspelled words, sentence structure errors it is a wonder I can be understood at all.

  6. Fair enough, Joanna!

    Even if it isn’t off the cuff, you do quite well for yourself!

  7. I hate writing. I love writing.

    We people have different habits in writing. Some writers can easily have a good output, while some writers needs to polish more their writings for them to be more satisfied. As I read the article, I was able to realize the importance of expressing one’s feelings truly. And with that, I LOVE WRITING. It is important to express yourself in writing for you to be more satisfied and have a true and meaningful writing. I do love writing, because I can easily express myself in whatever emotions I have. But in the other side, there are times that I do hate my writings because of the grammar.

  8. aw..im one of those wh0 always jotting down and after all, when quiz come, i dont know what t0 answer..haha 🙂 it made me feel n0 sense at aLL.. ;( HAHA..
    maybe all we need t0 do is to listen and understand first before jotting d0wn what we’ve learned. 🙂

  9. Just like others, I sometimes jotting down but when it is the time of spreading it off ,,, I lost almost half of the word!!! 🙂 but I am very thankful that even though that problem occurs to me… I can write something on my mind that is somehow related to what I jotted down… and for that I can say my true feelings and emotion through writing… 🙂
    When I’m not on the mood I hate writing because I cannot express my emotions into it.

  10. The idea of the article is really true, because i can relate myself with it. Knowing the fact that all of us, specially student like me, are having some difficulties in writing. But the answer is only at ourselves, we can change the way of our writing.! If we are more concentrated on what we are writing about, we can make a better composition. And of course we can also easily express our feelings and opinions unto it. And once you did that, writing will always make you happy. You’ll start to love writing. 🙂

  11. ‎’pen is mightier than sword’. As a person, one of the most precious thing to have is the talent in writing, because the mark that it leaves is lasting more than the mark caused by a violent sword. This article is somehow speaking for myself because I’m also the type of person who don’t really spend time in writing, I express more my feelings on cartooning. However, I still agree that if you really want to express your ideas or opinions writing would be one of the best ways to show it. During classes, my notes is one of my instruments to learn my lessons well, but of course I also make sure that it is reliable. For me, one of the best achievement that i could receive if I write a composition would be touching the hearts of the reader, just like other things writing could also bring happiness to our lives if we our interested and happy on engaging ourself into it. I also believe that if you want be a good writer you should be a well reader.^_^

  12. I can say that this article is really right. But we can have a good or better composition by having an inspiration. By that we can easily cope up with the problems that struggles when writing a composition. It is one thing that a journalist must have to have a successful composition. Of course we need to use our mind in order to write but try to use also our heart. I think it’s easier for us to do it. the more we love what we’re doing the more it gets better and easier. But for me i don’t need to make things perfect. I’m happy and contented to the things that i accomplished that i know i did my best! 🙂

  13. At first, yes, it seemed like writing may be a fear, but as an individual and a personal writer of my own thoughts, I think that as fear gradually been observed in certain parts wherein we have to develop ideas, it may be comprehended that this fear will decline, and interest becomes visible with us… Like writing, it may be sensed that many of us may hate it for it involves construction of ideas and expressions, but as I may say, as long as there will be a part of ourselves that is willing to express our own perceptions, it would likely make us like it, furthermore enjoy what writing has made us impart those feelings and ideas…:)♥

  14. It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop.(as quoted by a famous writer). Writing is not only a skill to be developed as for academics but also, as to mold ourselves as a person with a knowledge on how to express it. As time goes by, we; individuals just tend to write for purposes wherein we might get credits, but as we may realize, writing does not only give us those points for good grades but also makes us feel open with ourselves and to others through imparting it in a way that it would unleash our own personal interest making us acknowledge the things that really matters to our living…♥♥♥

  15. In this article,I may say that this is somewhat true.Because sometimes I use to jot down notes but I forgot to wrote the main ideas of it.That’s why,there are times that when we had our exams,I didn’t know the answer and yet sometimes I didn’t get the main point of it..especially when we had a given topics on essay.Honestly,I’m just like the others whose not that good in writing.Maybe because I have a writing fears..I’m not that sure about my grammar but then I use to work on it to make my writings much better.Actually,writing is a difficult task for me..Because I can’t express my emotions most especially when I’m not on the mood to do it so..Moreover,I would like to enhance my skills in writing for me to excel.. 🙂

  16. WRITING.For me it is quite bored but INTERESTING:).When I’m writing ,urgh,at first It’s definitely hard for me to flesh out all my ideas regarding the topic.It will really take time for me to come out to a certain idea that will pleased me to continue what am I doing.Sometimes when I got many ideas,I’ll be having problems on what words to use.There were times that I’m getting demanding on what words shall I be using,words that will please me,words that will fit my article.
    Yeah.It is more fun to read blogs and emails then comment on it.You will be getting more information about things in such ways.I really agree with this article because for me I’m also a perfectionist in my own way.Sometimes I’ll be reviewing my article twice or thrice.
    I also don’t want to write sometimes may be because of my writing fears such as lack of idea.But I do also want to enhance my writing skills not to please everybody but myself >:D.

  17. ‎………. ^_^ ……….
    ..Writing can be one of the best ways to utter one’s thoughts and ideas.
    I strongly agree. But certainly not for everybody.
    Haha..^^ especially for me.
    The truth hurts but I must admit,
    …..sometimes my writing ability can be ghastly obnoxious! Everytime I start writing I end up staring at a pile of scratch papers.
    Should I say I am quite also a perfectionist? .. gRrr??
    ..No, I just want to make a clear point with my readers. I’m not like others who can easily speak their mind through inscription.
    ..But whenever I finish a composition I have this feeling of fulfillment and glee that comes from the opportunity of speaking my heart and mind out.
    ..Though I may not be that good in writing I love the idea that it serves as a freedom means of expression. (n_n)

    —…. I hate writing, I love writing! :))

  18. After reading the article,i understand fully what writting really means.Because with writting we can express whatever we want to say or feel.At this period of time,I can say that I LOVE WRITTING but sometimes IHATE IT.It is because sometimes I was not in the mood to write anything,or maybe writting is not really my passion..That is all..thank you.! =)

  19. I hate writing.I love writing.

    After reading it,I realize that writing is important.Of course there are these hindrances in writing,but it doesnt mean that were not able to write.Writing is very difficult.But we need to develop it for us to be a good writer.And base on the article GOD gave us talents to improve it.

    I hate writing because sometimes I do not understand the topics that were given to me and also I’m not good in english.

    I love writing because I can easily express my feelings and I love writing if the topic to be given is about love.:))


  20. I hate writing…I love writing…
    For me, I love writing when I’m inspire, because I can easily expressed my feelings.
    and I hate writing because sometimes i miss my lost. and sometimes, I have an illness that what you called loss of memories.:P

  21. After reading it, i realized that we should not focused only in our notes but also we should rely on what the teacher is saying.
    Sometimes, i hate writing because there is something blocking my ideas and i’m not comfortable to do it when i am stressful. i also have a fear in writing.:)
    I love writing when i know what I should write and when i am inspired..

  22. I am not a good writer myself. I have my own errors when it comes to writing. But what I love when I write is the fact that I’m able to release my own emotions. Though I can’t convey and express it exactly as what I want it to be. I have my own weaknesses in writing yet, I won’t give up learning how to improve it. This article opened something in me. Perfection is not the goal of writing. It’s not the basis for a writing to be called a good one. As long as the contents of your work is from your heart and comes out of you freely, it would be considered a masterpiece.

Comments are closed.