Under Pressure

I performed a research study of thinking about this for about a minute. The results were most of my daily communication is writing. From that data, it’s clear that everybody writes all the time. Emails for family logistics, texting your spouse for more toilet paper in the basement bathroom, trying to out-gun the pre-printed text on Shoebox birthday cards — they’re so damn clever!

This is super cool. Yay, everyone’s a writer, but things get more challenging when I say I am a writer, as in writing is my profession. People think it’s cool and all, but that declarartion, while empowering on a personal level, is also saying “I’m a great writer!” Remember all the mundane communication everybody does all the time? I’m saying I’m *awesome* at it.

The problem is being a good writer means you’re a good editor. You’re not an improv savant who drops bombs on command. As far as first drafts go, you’re probably just an okay writer. Probably a terrible writer, because you know you can’t stop filling blank pages just to go back and fix a typo. Editing during a first draft is the leading cause of premature manuscript death. You wind up with something like what you’d say if you bumped into your celebrity crush: “I… um…. we… no, I … think? … want? … like … umm …” Then you hang your head and walk away in shame — RIP unlikely romance; RIP awesome story idea.

All of that just to say it’s hard having the pressure of always having perfect grammar and witty sayings. I dread sending something out with a “their/they’re/there” error and everybody’s like, “I thought he was a writer?”

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