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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Word Puzzles

People who live with (or have lived with) writers know the truth and do not harbor any delusions about the glamorous life of a writer. My daughter is one of those. She knows writing is more prespiration than inspiration. She read Philip Roth’s description of writing in The Ghost Writer and sent it on to me because she knew I could identify with it. Here it is:

“I turn sentences around. That’s my life. I write a sentence, then I turn it around. Then I look at it and I turn it around again. Then I have lunch. Then I come back in and write another sentence. Then I have tea and turn the new sentence around. Then I read the two sentences over and turn them both around. Then I lie down on my sofa and think. Then I get up and throw them out and start from the beginning.”
Of course, some days are more productive than others. On a good day I may be able to write two whole pages---that you can read in five minutes. Other days are like the one above and everything that is written gets trashed in the end. I would never be able to support myself with writing because it takes too long for me to produce something. It is not something that happens magically and flows as naturally as it can be read. It's like putting a puzzle together. You have to turn the words this way and that until you find the proper fit. And that's what makes it fun!


Anonymous said...

And the letters are all in the alphabet! Amazing!

Scribbler said...

And the words are all in the dictionary. It's simply a matter of putting them in the right order.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing anyway, even if the majority of your readers don't appreciate the sweat that was put into that two minute page scan. I'm sure ministers can relate...many hours of study and reading go in to a well-prepared 45
minute sermon. Then people say he has a "gravy job, working one day a week." :) Things just aren't always as they appear!