Monday, September 07, 2009

Yes and the Difficulty of Writing Well

I'm doing some work right now on the next book, the one to follow Say Yes to No. What's my theme? Yes. (How obvious was that?) It seems to me that when we learn the right yeses, we discover a life of beauty, excellence, and joy. (I'm not even going to mention here what happens when we get those yeses wrong.)

Why? I've discovered that, when I discussed the power of no with various readers, many would ask me, "Greg, I think I understand about no. What about saying yes?" So I began to ponder the other side of the ledger as it were, the yes that's surrounded by strategic nos. The next book answers that question with three yeses in three areas: personal life, work, and relationships. (That's a total of nine yeses.)

But here's the thing that struck me right between the eyes: When I say "yes" to writing, writing doesn't always nicely say "yes" back to me. I wish I could say that fairies whispered the right words in my ears as I joyfully typed on my PowerBook. I wish I could say that each sentence emerges full-formed and beautiful from my fingers.

But I'm not gonna lie. It doesn't happen that way. On any number of days, composing the next book can be tough going, slogging through mud on the way to my destination. I sometimes find comfort in remembering that Flaubert would work a whole day on one sentence. I just hope at some point, after all the detours, sore feet, and breaks along the way, I find I've created something beautiful, or at least as beautiful as I can create.


John said...

looking forward to "maybe"!

Catherine said...

You can do it Greg. I know you can. Plus you have one very important person on your side...GOD. He can do anything in you and through you. Even on the long nights where your fingers won't work and you can't seem to sppell (yes I did that on purpose, and you don't know if its going to do any good.