Mark Slouka writes "Don't Ask What I'm Writing," a witty and rather poignant opinion sketch on the suffering artist and their inability to express the brilliance going on inside our heads. Maybe.
Because really, writers are a timid lot. We're also incredibly self-conscious. Every fantastic, inspiring novel we read causes us to rejoice at the power of imagination and language while at the same time languish in our utter decrepitude and how terrible our own writing is, or how immature, or how plain, or how unable-to-live-up-to-this-other-author's-standards it is.
Logic has nothing to do with it. Of course our writing isn't like so-and-so's. You're not so-and-so. And yet, the languishing continues.
To Slouka (and to just about every other writer out there) the beginning of a story is always the same:
"those first few months of uncertainty: that miserable time when we think, believe, know with absolute assurance that we’ve found the key to the novel in our heads, though maybe, probably, definitely not."