Friday, August 08, 2008

writing about writing about writing

Just a quick note to say I am asking writers to respond to this:

The hardest thing about writing is....

Your answers will help shape the book about writing that I am slowly compiling. I want it to be truly useful--or what's the point? Two lists have already given some great responses. I hope to get many more. The answer can be about any aspect of the endeavor: craft, time management, how you enter "the trance", art vs commerce, character control (or not), writing through personal crises, the business end of writing, your mother in law's insistence that it's a cute hobby as long as your house stays nice (oh, no, wait, that was me, years ago)...and whatever else stands between you and writing a brilliant book.

Anyone so moved can certainly answer it here. Anyone preferring privacy can email me at kathleen at

Thanks for writing, for leaving your work for family, friends, and readers to enjoy, thanks for saving literacy.


Angela said...

Thank you for asking us the question! I just sent you an e-mail.

Can't wait to see the result of your hard work!!!

kathleen duey said...

Angela, thanks for the fabulous email. It really is interesting, the responses I am getting.

Is there an explanation for the tiger pic? Inquiring minds....???


Sarah Andrew said...

From the perspective of an absolute novice, the hardest part is getting from an abstract idea, feeling, or emotion to an actual word on an actual piece of paper. I feel compelled to write, then don't know how!


kathleen duey said...


Thanks for the perfect summary of what writing actually is and for reminding me what the book should be about, start to finish.

Do you know about It's a great place to start.

The mechanics of writing are like riding a bicycle--I promise. At first you are thinking about holding the handlebars steady, going too fast or too wobble-slow, breaking too hard, falling, glancing constantly to see where the curb is, the car you can hear behind you, and then, if you keep at it, practice often, there is a magical transition. You begin to think about where you are going, the best way to get there, the scent of roses from a neighbor's yard as you pass. Then you see someone do a wheelie and you work on that and then a curb-hop, and one cool, sunny morning you hop off the curb and pop a wheelie, then swing into your standup-pumpstart rhythm to get over the crest of the little hill...all without thinking about anything except being excited about seeing a good friend that day...