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


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?

1 comment:

Jenny said...

I think if you are writing for yourself, for fun, when you inspired, then writing cwill never frustrate you, but if you are an essay writer who works for some writing service, then some day I'm afraid you'll dislike writing. Maybe because you were made to write everything someone needed from you, not what you wanted to write about.