If you’re one of those “I’ve always had the right words in every situation, so how hard could writing be?” people, then this post isn’t for you.
But, if you are a “I’ve changed this single word fifteen times now, and I can’t move on to the next sentence because it still isn’t quite right.” person, then read on. You already know: writing is hard.
There are a thousand reasons writing isn’t for the faint of heart. Today we will explore my top 3:
- Writing is a solo endeavor. – If you love being surrounded by your tribe…your clan…your fan club, then sitting at a computer and clicking the keys for hours on end will be a slow and painful torture. Add to that the fact that you are spending all those hours with this thing – your writing – that possibly contains some imaginary people who you know better than you may know most of the people in your tribe, your clan or your fan club. You talk to them like they are real. You argue with them about what they are supposed to be doing in the one scene that won’t write itself. And you know that the reason the scene won’t come together is because you ignored what these fictional people wanted to do. So you pull yourself together from your argument with yourself and follow their pretend leadings. Okay. I admit. I don’t mind the being alone part. It’s the people in my head that get to me. Yes. Writing is hard.
- Writing involves murder. Bear with me. I’m talking about killing your words, not living beings. How many times have you…have I...sweated over a passage or a sentence – or even a single word? And in the end, it had to go. Murder your darlings. For the good of the greater work, weed out the very beauties that you spent that sleepless night reworking until your fingers bled. Writing is hard. Murder your darlings. Your readers will be grateful.
- Writing leaves you vulnerable. You birthed this work. This month of blog posts, or the novel or the extended Bible study. You polished it until it sparkled, and then you sent it out into the world for others to see. You hold your breath. You tell yourself that you won’t check Amazon to see if anyone dared to purchase it. You won’t check your analytics. A week goes by. A month. Then two months. Do you dare check? Are there any reviews? Comments? How many stars? Anything kind?
Yes. Writing is hard.
I have a dear friend and most faithful reader – Pam S. – who tells me that the reading part is easy and I just need to get on the ball.
OK, Pam. I’m working on that.
Now excuse me. I have to go have coffee with Justice and Ike.