If At First, Etc.

Some things just take longer to write than others, it seems. I’d been struggling with this week’s Time piece — I really am still filing them weekly, but they’re published whenever these days; there’re something like five just waiting to run or not, as the case may be — for a few days, unable to get it to sit right. I knew that I liked what I was saying, just not the way I was saying it.

One of the problems with juggling The Hollywood Reporter, WIRED and Time (Yes, WIRED is supposed to be all-caps, apparently) is the differing speed of publication, and therefore, writing; THR is multiple daily posts, and therefore short and fast is the order of the day, whereas Time needs to be slower, more considered (WIRED falls between the two, depending on the piece) and sometimes my brain can’t switch between the two modes easily — I spend time just hitting a wall with Time pieces and just keep trying to break through instead of walking away, and coming back later.

This week’s piece was one where I drove myself to exasperation on Monday, and to a lesser extent yesterday, trying to get the words to match what was in my head, and still coming in underneath my prescribed word count. It wasn’t working, and each time I put it aside, it was out of frustration more than anything; I felt like I’d failed, and that I was stopping not because I could, but because I had to if I wasn’t going to just delete everything and start over (I did that, too; twice).

Today, though, it all just worked. I needed to go through all the wrong versions to get to the “right” one, of course, and that makes me feel a little bit less like a fuck-up, but I’m left nonetheless with this feeling of “Oh, I should just remember that I can take control of my schedule and not have to just push through and finish everything once I’ve started it just because.” This mindset I still have is one of the many reasons why I don’t write longform work just yet. It would kill me, I suspect.