Tortured Writer?

For OctPoWriMo “Tortured”

We may be sagging but we’re still going. 😉

Tortured Writer?

One day

I thought

I’d be a writer.

Fame, fortune, renown.

That was when I was young

and stupid and vain.

Today I write

because I can do nothing else.

I frequently fail

to be good.

although I pretend to think I always am.

I wonder about the good writers

how they’re different from me.

I think they must take more time

or risks or discoveries or live better lives

or make better verbs or nouns

or better friends?

I’m never a better writer.


I think I must take more time

and not worry over every word the way I do

but think outside the box

although I never know where that is.

Even if I write a perfect story, it’s not perfect, because

none can be, and mine obviously not.

Self-pity, you say?

Try harder, you say?

Okay. Show me the way, Peter Frampton.

I’m here, willing to listen.


Sascha Darlington

3 thoughts on “Tortured Writer?

  1. You write so clearly how we all feel. How do we be a great writer? We learn all these rules etc. But the great writers break these rules and somehow have this ingenuity. I learnt this summer at a writers conference, we learn the rules and practice them b/c once we know them we can play with them like we play with words and know when and how to break them. What a thought? Did Stephen king truly know? JK Rowling, Dean Kootz, Barbara Kingsolver? It’s confusing isn’t it, true, but. Your poem captures this ambiguity. I think we just write no matter what. I’m on day 14, got to back and do 14. But I’m behind like you. No worries, if it continues into November it does. I learned that last year. Hope you’re doing great and hugs to Scout.

  2. I know the feeling well, fighting to get out from under the weight of growing pile of rejections. The frustration of staring at the screen trying to make a story perfect, the second, third… eighth draft. Wondering why nobody likes it but me. Trying to figure out how I can make it better, what magical change I can make that will make it live up to my vision.

    A recently-published author I met reminded me that Jack London was rejected 100 times before he was published. In On Writing Stephen King talks about nailing his rejection letters to the wall as inspiration to succeed.

    Perceverance, my friend.

    “You can do it!” – Rob Schneider

  3. You described my daily struggle to perfection. I think we’re perfect as we are. Your audience finds you because you speak honestly with compassion and truth. That speaks volumes and I think it’s a mindset too. Writing and reading can be an escape and writers catch a following because of a mindset -whatever you enjoy to escape to as a release from the daily grind of bills, work, family, whatever else is going on in your world. I love your writing.

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