Writing: The Pleasure & the Bane II

The following are entries I began in a journal (handwritten in pencil) when my youngest was approaching 3 years of age. All the entries are in the ‘bane’ aspect but one has to wonder where the ‘pleasure’ comes from such as this?

March 28

I do really want to be writing again but am having trouble settling down. Probably for several reasons – the most solid being that there are builders outside and plumbers inside – the least physical but most important being that I have always had trouble getting started but it has been a very long time now since I did any creative work at all besides articles so it is almost a new experience but I cannot get stories and ideas out of my head. (Mr. Lombardi, I apologize for this run-on sentence – call it stream of consciousness, or just bad grammar!)

March 29

I think this book is my preliminary warm-up for writing. Maybe by using this or letters, I won’t waste a lot of time and paper writing what won’t be of any use — sort of getting junk out of my system before tackling anything else. Yesterday, I wrote about 500 words, maybe less, while I had the chance. Today I am alone for more than an hour but already part of that hour is gone.

April 28

LM told me today that my story needed work. She didn’t understand what I was trying to do and asked HC to write to me with corrections and suggestions. There is always the nagging fear that I really am not good enough to make a success of writing.  LM and RR have received several manuscripts from writers who have been published in magazines. I believe I am as good though my stories are rejected. I don’t know. Should I even be trying?

I am low about LM’s response. I thought when she first mentioned wanting to talk after the meeting that I detected a note of enthusiasm for the story, but I was wrong. Maybe potential but not success.

AL was going to publish the story when I sent it to her but she couldn’t find space in her monthly magazine so it got lost.

Now that I’ve come back to writing after so long, these small setbacks seem major. Maybe I’m out of practice. And maybe I’m just not good enough.

I’m trying to get back into reading well. I’ve started with North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. I mean reading literature instead of Martin Luther King and women’s diaries and Spanish textbooks and Ngaio Marsh. If I read better, I might write better.

Please, please, please don’t let me be not good enough. I’ve had enough of that all my life. Mediocre, not wanted, unsuitable, can do better.

Well, I was younger then than now! Stay tuned for Bane III

Also on this subject...


  1. Second, I’m going to assume that you want to take writing seriously enough that you wish to be paid for it. This is a job, it’s work, I believe it has value, and those who do the work should be paid for their time, expertise, and effort, just like in any other occupation. Don’t get me wrong, I love the job (most of the time), but I think of this as a job because it keeps me serious and focused when I have to make deadlines (and mortgage payments).