Of Writing And Challenges And Gold Stars. Oh, and Eating Them, Too.

May 22

“A writer is a person for whom writing is more
difficult than it is for other people.“
~Thomas Mann

Stars.I am a

Well, at least by Mr. Man’s standards.

I’m not so sure I qualify by my own standards.  See, I think that writers?  They write.But I’ve  dropped all of my of my writing habits this year, temporarily disqualifying me.  Getting started again is tougher than I expected.

Oh, there’s no shortage of ideas to write about. In fact, I think I’ve promised to write no fewer than 5,421 different articles.

This month.

Yet somehow, none of those 5,421 posts have been written, not this month, nor any other.

Why?  Because I know
how difficult writing is.

Gold StarsWhy is it penny-dreadfully difficult?

In this particular case, it’s because the things I want to write are such GOOD ideas. They’re posts that I know people want to read. Ideas for posts they’ve asked to read, ideas for posts they need to know.  They’re ideas that will inspire, comfort, instruct, amuse, and, on a really good day? They might even be transformative.


These ideas need words and sentences and framing that do them justice, because they are that good (if I say so myself).  Just writing them might not be so difficult, but writing them properly is pretty darned intimidating.More Gold Stars

And by “writing them properly”, I mean writing them so they have the desired impact & effect, the words drawing the readers into my mind to experience what I want them to expreience, and then somehow spitting those reader back out into their own individual worlds, where they can digest and make the ideas their own.


And Even MORE Gold StarsEach to their own taste, and I’m certainly not to everyone’s taste. In fact, my digestion metaphor isn’t even to my own taste. Ick.

But here’s the rub:  if I don’t write at all, I’m not to anyone’s taste. If there are no words on the page, no consciousness streaming, no thoughts being badly punctuated, mispelled and typo’d? No one can taste-test the ideas.  No one can be nourished or poisoned or disturbed or amused or angered or transformed.  And no one can play spot-the-typo.

So while not-writing seems a bit safer,
it also seems a bit pointless.. Haven't You Got Enough Damn Gold Stars Yet?

Not to mention more than a bit boring.

This month? (and maybe next, since this month is half way over, after all) I’ll be challenging myself to write (just write) three posts a week. They may or may not be published here, or elsewhere, and if they are published, they may or may not have a clear objective, original illustrations, or proper formatting.

What they will have is words. Lots of words, sweat-drenched words that reek of the difficulty of writing that, on some days, makes me a writer.  I’ll strive to get the illustrations and formatting done, of course, because that’s part of the experience, but first and most importantly?

I’ll write

This post?  Yepp. Just words. Words, and a few flourishes, and a bonus game of spot-the-typo.

And I’ll
post them.

What, you don’t trust me?
I posted this one, didn’t I?
Now, I get a gold star.

Fine. Here's A Chance To Get Your Very Own Stars, Then.Today’s Comment Guide: Note the typos from this post in the comments and I’ll give you a virtual gold star! Share a favorite quote about writing and you get TWO gold stars!  Figure out how to leave *me* a gold star, and I’ll give you THREE virtual gold stars.

But if you post a boring “welcome back!” comment, or mutter other vague thoughtlessly positive encouragements that make me feel awkward or vunerable?


  1. **
    ***** *****
    **** ****
    ** ***
    * **

    It’s a little wonky… but nothing’s perfect 😉

  2. AW Man! The formatting borked! let’s try this again

  3. Welcome to my world! Thank you for saying what seems obvious to other writers but not to readers. I got so tied in knots about writing non-fiction–because of the pressure to say something life-changing and the devastating critics–that I gave myself permission to write some silly youth fiction because there is no right or wrong, just whatever amuses me. And amuse me it does. It feels good to write just for the pleasure of it. Heck with the critical readers! I want to write because it is who I am, regardless of what others think. I guess I kissed the concept of “audience” goodbye and the freedom is intoxicating.

  4. I think the most awesome writing experience I’ve ever had is happening now. A colleague and I are writing a book together. I love to write and she likes to make things crisp and clean. What a combo eh?
    It is the most fun I’ve ever had writing. She also keeps me going by asking, “What are we going to go over today!” We are both having so much fun and learning a lot together, I can’t imagine writing a book on my own again!
    So I don’t find putting words on paper difficult. What I have difficulty with is “writing them properly” so they have “the desired impact and effect” There, I quoted you!

  5. dang I thought it would work if I copied and pasted one of your own stars into the comment but the URL is all that showed up. LOL

  6. Marie A /

    Hello, again, fancy lady! You say this is about you and writing, but we all know you’re just taking the fall for me. How I go round and round on the merry-go-round with this!

    Let’s agree to stop and just write! Pinky swear?

    I couldn’t possibly bring myself to point out any little errors in your post , but I will share a quote from none other than Mr. Mark Twain:

    “It is no use to keep private information which you can’t show off.”–Mark Twain

    And here’s a gold star from Twitter, where we met:
    @goldstar 😉


  1. I Am An Artist. | The Circus Serene - [...] a recent post, I said this: “…  I mean writing (words) so they have the desired impact & effect,…