Monday, January 14, 2013

Does Writing Frustrate You?

“I know I’m not going to write as well as I used to. I no longer have the stamina to endure the frustration. Writing is frustration — it’s daily frustration, not to mention humiliation. It’s just like baseball: you fail two-thirds of the time.” He went on: “I can’t face any more days when I write five pages and throw them away. I can’t do that anymore.”
I read the New York Times' front-page article about Philip Roth's retirement from writing when it was published in November and this quote has stayed with me.

First of all, I never thought of writing as a career from which one ever retires.  I believed it to be something you just do because you loved it and you'd do it until you died.

But I can definitely relate to the frustration of writing - as well as the humiliation and failure.  Writing is not easy and I often want to quit.  I frequently go days (weeks?) without writing anything except maybe a page or two in my journal (and sometimes not even that much).

I can't decide if this quote is a relief: writing frustrates a prolific, well-acclaimed writer such as Philip Roth so it's OK if I feel frustrated

OR

if this quote is depressing: writing frustrates a prolific, well-acclaimed writer such as Philip Roth so how will I stand a chance in this career?

What do you think of this quote?  A relief or depressing?

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