character / neurotic thinking / writing

the pain of it

A pain expands in my chest when I read or hear great writing I wish I had written. This is not a metaphorical pain. And like wishing for money to solve financial problems or for a pill to vanquish food poisoning, I wish to have written something brilliant. Why does it matter?

14 thoughts on “the pain of it

  1. I think that there is room for the brilliance you see out there and your own brilliance. I think we can be inspired by the brilliance we read, we can learn from it, we can love it. And then when we turn to our own work, we can strive to express our OWN brilliance. Because ours is different and unique and personal to us. It isn’t like theirs. And someone else will look upon what we do and say, “wow, you are so brilliant, I wish I could be like you.”

    But they can’t. No one can be like anyone else. We can only explore our own brilliance. Appreciate it. And learn to let it shine.

    • There is room for all the brilliance. It is knowing that there is room for it and yet not being able to reach it that drives me mad. Perhaps I risk sounding all wrong, but part of me believes, wildly, that I could write something great, and the rest of me suspects I’m not going to. And someone else just proves all that is possible, if only…

    • This feeling came to me (this time) not because of something I was reading. I was listening to an interview with television writer Steven Moffat and what he had to say–and the shows he’s done that I’ve loved–just struck me hard. Oh, the pain of it.

  2. Rowena’s right about looking to your own brilliance. I would argue that a person almost can’t recognize her own brilliance, but only do what feels right and let others judge whether it’s brilliant. If you write something brilliant, you won’t know it because it’s yours and it will feel normal.

  3. Because we love it so much. I wish to plant that kind of garden, or sing that kind of song. (Can’t carry a tune in a bucket though, as they say.) It’s the adoration we have toward that thing. And because we love it so much, we find part of our identity there, and that’s why it matters.

    I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

  4. I’m familiar with that pain. Actually, it’s very very similar to the sweet pain (and I’m not trying to be melodramatic here) associated with certain family experiences — like hearing a sister tell me about one of their great kids, say, or like hearing someone talking about what a great family cookout it was on a recent weekend in NEW JERSEY.

    I bet there’s a word for it in another language, this tight-throated yearning.

    • A lovely post that captures a great deal of the feeling. I’m not much for believing in a Higher Power, but I believe in the connection of all things–the stunning amazement of a universe where every single thing in that universe came form the same spark in the nothingness and all made this. And who wouldn’t want to feel connected to all that? Funny though that a story can make us–or me anyway–feel that way.

  5. Merry, merry Christmas Marta. I’m late, and have nothing to offer others more insightful than I have already said here, but I wanted to wish you a joyful Christmas anyway.

    🙂

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