Tingle Alley is a new blog by a Maud Newton guest blogger. It's terrific. It's already made it to my everyday check list. Today she has outdone herself. She responds forcefully to a New York Times Book Review essay. The second entry is a look at the questions an apprentice writer must face.
I write this to help me remember it. Because for the past year I’ve suffered more doubt and insecurity than ever before about my writing. Enough unhappiness that it’s seemed worthwhile to ask myself, “Why not just stop?” Why have what amounts to basically a glorified hobby (no one pays me to write fiction) that makes you so miserable? And guilty. And hunch-backed. Why not just be happy with the good husband and the satisfactory job in plumbing supplies, and with friends and family and trying to be a good person in the world? Why not just read the books other people write? Why not choose to be content?
It occurs to me that there are two kinds of misery you can encounter as a writer: The misery of apprenticeship — basically, the frustrations and humiliations involved in learning how to do your craft well — and the misery of why bother with it at all.
Check out Tingle Alley, there's lots of good stuff there.