on writing

August 1, 2006

Over the last two months, this blog has become part of my daily routine: during much of my free time, I’m either writing or thinking of things I could be writing about. As readers of this site have no doubt surmised, I have a strong interest in films which has manifested in a number of what I think are reasonably honest and detailed reviews. But it’s a challenge. Just tonight, my review of 24 Hour Party People took me many hours to shape into something I felt comfortable publishing, and even then it will not likely be counted among my best work. Looking at professional reviews in newspapers and elsewhere forces me to realize how much I have to learn; the standards set by their excellence seem impossibly high. I write well enough–I’m confident of that much–but expressing my views in a compelling and articulate fashion remains a challenge that can frustrate my best efforts to overcome it.

Yet I remain committed to the project, even more so than when I began. Recent story submissions to Engadget have brought (relatively) huge amounts of traffic to the blog, and I am even now trying to figure out how to keep visitors coming. Not that it matters particularly: I write above all because I enjoy it. On the best of days, inspiration flows freely, and I delight myself in constructing intricate turns of phrase while writing on matters I find important. The elation at finishing a piece that I know is well-constructed is incomparable, so much so that it sustains me in my less brilliant moments. Writing is, for me, a journey, and I thank you all sincerely for coming along.

–D. S. W.


2 Responses to “on writing”

  1. Jonathan Coveney said

    Just keep writing.

  2. cd said

    Don’t worry much about blog traffic; you should just focus on the writing and the pleasure it gives you. It’s not a big deal if the occasional piece isn’t up to your standards (and the “party people” essay was just fine in any case), just keep plugging away, and don’t be intimidated by the output of professional journalists, who have simply had the advantage of more practice and experience than you. Regarding the film reviews in particular, you could outstrip some of the younger critics (and especially bloggers) out there by actually knowing something about the history of the medium–in other words, see a lot of older movies, not to mention contemporary films from outside the US.

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