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~Author Jennifer Leigh~

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Why I Write

Jennifer Leigh

15 August 2004, Late at night

Musings on this Life I’ve Chosen

I choose to be a writer. This means that I will never feel like I’m ‘done’ or that my work is good enough. Even though in every other aspect of my life, I am happy with improvement rather than perfection, with my written work I am always going back to it thinking I have one more thing to fix. For me this is difficult and wears down my confidence.

And yet, I choose this. Circumstances are such that I can’t work outside the home, yet I know I have never worked so hard at anything in my life as I do with my writing. I study how to write with more sparkle, more concisely, more sensory-oriented. It’s always a struggle. Anyone who believes that brilliant novels fall out of the author’s mind fully formed like Athena out of Zeus’ head is simply unaware of the toil writers bear in their pursuit to create even one flawless sentence.

We writers have to be more aware. The difference between a good story, one worth hearing, reading (and buying) and a so-so tale is the adept writer draws the reader in by describing a situation, a dialogue, a character by appealing to the reader’s experience and understanding. And this is not easy! How can I possibly captivate an audience made up of people I’ve never met and probably will never meet?

Often I’ve convinced myself writing chose me. I guess that makes it easier to accept this solitary life, a life where a story or even a lone paragraph will keep me up all night. A life where I ache from typing on the computer, and ache internally that no matter how diligently I try, I can’t seem to make my thoughts paint themselves on the page sometimes.

But I choose to write and surrender to the sacrifices one makes to become a success.

I hope....

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