I write, therefore I am

by Anna Blanch on May 31, 2011

All writing moves in a kind of cycle, from easy to frustrating, from satisfying to disappointing, from heavenly feelings of accomplishment to earthly feelings of being inept. Recognize that you are on the upswing here, and with just a little attention you will find yourself enjoying success. Take it slowly, but you may be confident of the final outcome. [1]


I write.

I am a writer.

I’m either free-writing, or sketching, or outlining, or paragraphing, or revising writing, or proofreading writing.

I think.

I write. I read.

I think. I write again.

But, I am not what I write. I am no more worth-while as a person when I write well or write badly.

But, I feel like I haven’t been writing well recently. I feel most frustrated when I know I can write better – that is, when I know I can write more clearly, more incisively, more succinctly.

The only way I know out of this, and the process that seems to be working for me is to write my way out of it. Write more drafts. Write in different locations. Write in different forms and styles. Just write. Everyday. Just Write.

Have there been any experiences that have given you insight into the way you write most effectively and efficiently?


[1] Sarah Jane Sloane , The I Ching for Writers: Finding the Page Inside You (38)  (HT: Lisa Del Toro)

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  • Steve S.

    I read a lot more than I write, and I prefer to write in response to something I've read. So reading and note-taking really are the bulk of my writing process. Once the idea comes, the process of outlining and drafting happens relatively quickly. Editing isn't usually a problem, unless I'm writing under space constraints.

    And while it's true that you aren't what you write, what you write is inevitably part of who you are. Or, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that what you write leaves its mark on your identity. (And what you publish is kind of like a tattoo, which may or may not age gracefully.) You know how actors sometimes begin to take on characteristics of the characters they play? Writers aren't so different. What we commit to paper does tend to shape our identities.

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