What makes writing so darn difficult? Let me count the ways…
#10: The Stress™
Writing is work. It takes concentration, planning, motivation, and sometimes inspiration. It can be stressful when you are working with a deadline, or a complex story that you want to get right so you can ‘wow’ your audience. People don’t write for the sake of writing. They write to tell a story, or to communicate a certain message, or to inform an audience. Writing is almost always for an audience – and that’s something you have to take into account during the process. You know that the words you are typing or writing on the page will be read by someone, and that someone will form an Opinion about said writing. That opinion may destroy you, but it is inevitable. Your soul is out for everyone to see. On one hand, you want everyone to see it. On the other, you would rather crawl under a rock and never allow your work to see the light of day. You want to protect and defend your work, but you also want to improve and make a living.
#9: Implementing the Idea
Coming up with ideas for stories is easy – it is the implementation that is hard. You daydream for hours on end without expending any energy. You have a grand, epic picture in your head of what you want a scene to look like, and you have to use words to convey it on paper. No matter how well you describe it, no one is going to picture it exactly as you do. The message you hope to deliver with your novel may go over your readers’ heads, or may be interpreted differently. It’s also highly likely that your skills are not sufficient to accurately illustrate your idea. This demotivates many writers and leaves us prone to procrastination and/or perpetual, unproductive daydreaming.
#8: Utilizing Fair Criticism
Criticism is always tough to swallow. Some stupid, small part of you hopes that everyone will enjoy your work, praise it, and recommend it to their friends. But another, LARGER part of you knows that in order to craft a quality story, you must present it before critical eyes. Hopefully whoever critiques your work will be polite and fair about it. Even so, it can be difficult to see from their perspective and view your story through the same lens. Your first instinct will be to defend it because you know where the story will go and why you put that scene there, and why that character needs to do that thing at that moment. Occasionally you will be correct, and you maintain the right to stand your ground should you not wish to change whatever your editor/reader suggests that you change. However, you must learn to recognize when they are right and when you should make a change to your manuscript, even if it hurts.
#7: Stringing Words Together Intelligently
wrods r hard
#6: Pushing Aside Perfectionism
You want to write your story perfectly the first time. This is a problem because, spoiler alert, you can’t. Perfectionism is a major obstacle I have to overcome during the process if I want to get anything done. I want to write perfectly to minimize the criticism when I hand it off to one of my readers/editors. You’d think that would save me time! But if I simply buckled down and wrote something to the best of my ability without being overly self-critical every step of the way, I might finish more quickly. I might avoid procrastinating. I might also avoid hating myself with a fiery passion. 🔥
#5: Not Falling In Love With Your Writing
Speaking of hating oneself, it is possible that you will fall in love with your writing. What I mean is that you won’t want to change it. You will memorize what you have written and hear it echo in your mind like it is real, and changing it will be unpleasant. If you fall in love with it, you won’t accept just criticism. You will defend it to your dying breath, even if it means no one agrees with you or enjoys it themselves. It can be easy to fall in love with your writing for three reasons: (1) You worked really hard on it, (2) Nobody understands it like you do, and (3) Editing is the worst; as long as you don’t need to edit, you save yourself a lot of anguish.
HEY! YOU THERE! FOCUS! YOU GOT THINGS TO DO! STOP DILLYDALLYING! TWITTER WILL BE JUST AS TERRIBLE WHEN YOU GET BACK, NO WORRIES!
You have a million things to do. Often when you strive to find balance in your life and prioritize tasks, writing gets shoved to the bottom of the list. This leaves you exhausted by the time you get around to your story. I personally find it strenuous to write when I am tired – and I am always tired. I know 99% of writers (according to the Internet) are addicted to coffee, but I don’t drink coffee. I must find other means of regaining energy: napping, a full night’s sleep, peanut butter… The best thing I could do is avoid distractions so I don’t waste the short time I am alert in the day.
#1: This Post
This post was very challenging to write. It took me two days! *wipes sweat from brow* 😛
Please show your appreciation for my hard work by liking, commenting, and following! What do you find most difficult about the writing process?