Writing a grant proposal is like doing a cliff dive

Roxana Robinson, a fiction writer, recently described her writing process in an interview with the New York Times.

Writing a story, she said, is "incredibly exhilarating. . . . It's like doing a cliff dive, the kind that only works when the wave hits just right. You stand on top, poised and fearful, looking at what lies below: you must start your dive when the wave has withdrawn, and there's nothing beneath you but sand and stone. You take a deep breath and throw yourself over, hoping that, by the time you hit, the wave will be back, wild and churning, and full of boiling energy. It's kind of terrifying. It's unbelievably fun."

Sound familiar?

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Lucky lady. Being dyslexic, writing for me is like climbing a mountain. A slow and often painful process, which involves a great deal of concentration to make sure my words and phrases make sense. Every now and then I stop to rest and admire the view of a few more pages behind me and the story opening up around me.

Sometimes during my rest stops I realise the terrain ahead is unsuitable so I must descend again and try another path up the mountain. Sometimes I spends days battling up a particularly hard paragraph, while others I stride up whole sections. Some days a blizzard sets in and all I can do is stare at the blank white screen, unsuccessfully willing my brain to form phrases. In the end, all I can do is hope that along the way my partner will pick out the words spelt so badly that spellcheck cant recognise them, and the heterographs I get wrong.

But once you reach the top... oh the relief. The pride. Few things feel better to a dyslexic than planting the title on that mountain.

By Hinemoana (not verified) on 11 Mar 2011 #permalink