Weekly Musing: Quote the Raven Nevermore

This week’s musing is not about Edgar Allen Poe or ravens. Instead I thought it might be interesting to find a random quote related to writing and use it to discuss my reactions to it.

Ink and paper are sometimes passionate lovers, oftentimes brother and sister, and occasionally mortal enemies.

– Terri Guillemets

Well, yeah. That’s an accurate description of the daily struggle many writers face. When I say struggle I don’t mean it as a bad thing just that there are those days where the words come easier than others are.

When Guillemets uses the phrase “passionate lovers” I think she is referring to those glorious days when the ideas and words strike at a feverish, unrelenting pace. Those days when writing feels like the most wonderful thing in the world. When as a writer you feel like a badass and your prose is so awesome the giants of the writing world will weep from jealousy. But like passionate lovers, that zealousness can’t last forever. Those moments are far too few and sometimes after those moments of passion you realize it wasn’t as great as you thought it was.

I think that’s what the author means by brother and sister is that complimentary relationship when both brain and pen are in synch with each other. Of course this would have to be a brother and sister who get along. Or the brother and sister analogy can be accurate even if the siblings don’t get along since some days are more frustrating than others are. Or perhaps the brother and sister analogy could be a reference to the difference in right and left brain thinking. The yin and the yang if you will. Personally I think most of my writing days are like a brother and sister who get along with some give and take.

Ahh, and the last part of the quote about ink and paper can be “mortal enemies.” Oh yes that describe those days where you feel like the world’s worst writer. Like maybe the crap job you do to earn a living should be your life. Maybe you aren’t the Word God the days of passionate writing led you to believe. I hate those days. I hate it when what you have floating around in your head doesn’t make it on the page. Sometimes it’s best to just put the pen down, walk away for a bit, and do something else. Clear the cobwebs out then try again.

There are loads of quotes out there that speak to the writer. I liked this one because it was concise and incredibly accurate. Also it is quite thought provoking and I think each person who has ever written a single sentence would interpret the quote differently. Maybe a writer hasn’t experienced the fevered state of writing. Perhaps the brother/sister analogy could be interpreted in a Targaryen-Jaime and Cersei Lannister way. And maybe others don’t have to fight with the words.


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