Writing Quote: There’s Nothing to Writing

I somewhat borrowed the title of Friday’s post from this quote, which I’d seen several times in my never-ending quest to find suitable writing quotes to share here, but never before shared.

There’s nothing to writing.  All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. 

~Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith

I hadn’t shared this quote because, frankly, it’s a bit macabre.  I almost didn’t use that title and, in choosing to remain with that title, I almost wrote a postscript explaining my feelings about using this gruesome imagery as a metaphor for writing.

Ultimately, I decided to use it because I couldn’t think of anything better to express what I meant.  The imagery is a bit gruesome, and puts me in mind of someone who is psychologically compelled to cut himself as a means of self-expression or to gain attention – and that’s not a comfortable thing to be thinking about, by any means.  But as a metaphor, it’s frighteningly apt: when we write, we open up the inner workings of our hearts and minds for the readers to see, unfolding it on the page.  The result of pouring out our hearts is visible for all who look to see it.  Sometimes the process is painful, but still we feel compelled to do it, either because this is how we define ourselves, or because we have an overriding desire to be acknowledged and understood by others. 

When I was writing earlier this week, one thought struck me as interesting.  I talk about all of this stuff with Dear Wife.  But sometimes those conversations go in a strange way.  Dear Wife often already knows what my opinions are, on any given subject.  We may have talked about it before, or it may simply be obvious to her because of how well she knows me.  Often, she doesn’t want to hear more, because she already agrees with me, and whatever I might say would simply be extraneous to her.  And maybe my thoughts and ideas aren’t sparklingly original.  Of course I love her, and the fact that we agree on such a wide range of topics and issues is a credit to our marriage, I believe.  But in such cases, I still want to express myself.  I still need to express myself.  And anyway, I do it better in writing than I do in spoken word.

Which, I suppose, is why I’m here, writing.

All that said: I’d rather be writing science fiction & fantasy stories.