Happy Birthday Virginia Woolf!
According to my daily email from Encyclopedia Britannica, today is Virginia Woolf’s birthday, and I just couldn’t let the birthday of one of my favourite authors go unmentioned, despite the fact that I’m trying to write up a chapter for my thesis today. I suspect that those of you who write regularly are familiar with the agonies that I’m currently encountering. As I try to arrange words upon the screen, I find it comforting to note that Virginia understood all too well what I am going through.
“Anyone moderately familiar with the rigours of composition will not need to be told the story in detail; how he wrote and it seemed good; read it and it seemed vile; corrected and tore up; put in; was in ecstasy; in despair; had his good nights and bad mornings; snatched at ideas and lost them; saw his book plain before him and it vanished; acted his people’s parts as he ate; mouthed them as he walked; now cried; now laughed; vacillated between this style and that; now preferred the heroic and pompous; next the plain and simple, now the vales of Tempe; then the fields of Kent or Cornwall; and could not decide whether he was the divinest genius or the greatest fool in the world.” Orlando, Virgina Woolf
Only one who truly comprehended the torment involved for those intent on writing well, could write about it so eloquently. Do you experience this kind of seesawing from rapture to despair when you write?