Easy and Hard — Compared to What?

Writing is the easiest hard thing I’ve ever done. Or maybe the hardest easy thing. Either way, it has its ups and downs on the difficulty spectrum.

Ideas are easy. We’ve talked before about ideas and how they tumble over each other to get attention. They’re a dime a dozen and show up at all hours with little work.

Hard? Turning ideas into a cohesive story.

Easy: Cranking out 500 words during a 15-minute word sprint when everyone around you is doing the same thing.

Hard: Cranking out 500 words in an hour when it’s just you in the whole house, you have no idea where the story is going, there are dishes in the sink, and someone on Twitter is being particularly witty.

Easy: Line edits when someone else has already left you comments on each thing that needs to be fixed.

Hard: Developmental edits when all you have are a handful of comments like “drags a little in the middle” or “didn’t understand the character’s motivation.”

Easy: Telling everybody what you’re going to write.

Hard: Actually writing it.

Easy: Writing a book.

Hard: Writing a synopsis.

Easy: Writing a synopsis.

Hard: Writing a query letter.

Easy: Writing a query letter.

Hard: Hitting send on a query letter.

As you can see, it’s all comparative. Every single day of writing is a rollercoaster of struggle and ease. You can whine about it when it’s difficult, but all that does is feed the blockage you’re creating that makes it hard in the first place.

The hardest thing for me, hands down, is getting started. I procrastinate, I fiddle-fart around, I go all diva and tell myself “I’m just not feeling it right now.”

But once I finally shut up and get going, it’s the best feeling in the world. Words flow from my brain, through my fingertips, and onto the screen with very little pause or stress. It’s a powerful feeling. My internal editor sits back to watch in semi-silence, I forget about the Internet altogether, and I stop worrying about goals and word counts and time.

So, the hardest part of writing? Getting out of my own way.

The easiest? Letting it all out once I do.

Rachel is the author of the urban fantasy Monster Haven series from Carina Press. She believes in magic, the power of love, good cheese, lucky socks, and putting things off until stress gets them done faster at the last minute. Her home is Disneyland, despite her current location in Kansas.

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