Discussion: writing and Writing

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All writers have those days when their writing simply doesn’t feel up to par. You know the days I’m talking about — the days when you could sit in front of your computer for six hours and nothing would come from your fingertips. There are days when you feel as though all your good ideas have left you and you have no idea how to connect words into a sentence. But you should still write. Even when you feel like you’re only producing garbage, you should write. As I’ve discussed in previous posts, it’s important to keep up a routine when it comes to your writing. So, even when it feels awful and feels like you’re getting nowhere, you need to keep trying.

This feeling of stilted writing was the subject of a Shawn Blanc blog post earlier this year. When it was picked up and discussed on the Write for Your Life blog, it caught my eye because of it’s intriguing title: writing vs. Writing. With only one of those words capitalized, what could it mean? Turns out that Blanc is talking about two different feelings he has when writing — one of professionalism and ease, and one of being blocked and feeling like you’re back in the 2nd grade playing Oregon Trail and it’s all you can do to remember the Home Row.”

I know what Blanc is talking about, certainly. I have those days too where I feel like a complete failure every time I open a blank document when I try to come up with something. On the reverse, I also have days where I can’t type fast enough for the words and ideas that are popping into my brain. I don’t agree with Blanc’s assignment of a lowercase and uppercase designation to these two “kinds” of writing. When I can’t get anything down on the paper or screen, it doesn’t feel any less like writing than it does when I’m scribbling furiously. At least, for me. Even if I’m staring at the screen and manage to eke out only 100 words for the day, I still feel that I’m writing. Having my mind engaged in the act of trying, at least, counts as writing for me.

How about you? Do you often feel there are two distinct categories to your writing — writing and Writing? What do you think about Shawn Blanc’s blog post? Leave some comments!

— Jet Fuel Editor, Mary Egan

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