The number of times I’ve sat down to write this blog and failed made me realize that basically everything about writing is difficult.
The hardest thing about writing for me is just sitting down to do it.
It’s like exercise. You know you need to do it. You know once you do it you’ll feel better and that it’ll be fun once you get into it. You know the results are worth it.
But that doesn’t always mean that you’ll do it.
It’s hard to get started but it’s also hard to make the time, stay focused on a project and see it through to the end.
Of course I love to write, but you’d never know it sometimes. Given the choice, I will come up with a million other things to do instead. If I know I need to write, suddenly there are chores that need doing and errands that need running. Books to read or TV shows to catch up on.
Because putting it off is easy. All the rest is hard.
Crafting a story is hard. Writing endings is hard. Although middles are hard too. Beginnings are also hard, though, because you have to start.
It’s tough to make sure all of the elements of the story work. Deciding which plot twists to take, keeping track of all of the subplots and characters, not to mention writing basics like grammar and spelling.
Listening to feedback is hard, because it means people are telling you what’s not perfect with your work.
Editing is hard, too. I still haven’t mastered it. It takes even more time and going over the same manuscript over and over and over until you never want to see it again and then reading through it one more time.
Submission is hard. Choosing the right market, knowing a story is ready after all of that editing, hoping it’ll get through a slush pile and that you catch an editor on the right day.
Rejection is really hard. It hurts when someone tells you that they’re not interested in your story – regardless of the reason. And yet most writers will receive several dozen rejections for every one acceptance.
Not even the act of writing itself is easy. Writing by hand is painful because your hands cramp if you write for too long. If you write on the computer, finding the right keyboard that is comfortable for extended writing is hard. I went through three laptops before I found an acceptable keyboard. Staring at the screen for too long is painful, too.
The thing about writing is that even as much as I enjoy it, it’s still work. It’s painful and exhausting. It’s time consuming and there’s very little reward. A majority of us writers will never be able to support ourselves by writing alone, so we have to fit it in around the rest of our lives.
So is there anything that’s easy about writing? Easy isn’t the right word. Simple, maybe. Once I start writing, entropy takes over. I get into it, I lose track of time, and I’m consumed by the act itself. Then there’s nothing easier than throwing words across the page. They come pouring out faster than I can type them: words, worlds, people, conversations, and nonsense. There’s nothing simpler or more rewarding than filling an entire blank page with words from my mind.
I was built to be a writer. It’s as simple as that.