I have determined that I lie to myself. A lot.
When I start writing a new book, I tell myself I just need to get through the beginning, then it will get easier. Once I’m trudging through that endless middle section of the first draft, I tell myself not to despair, once I get closer to the end it will be all down hill. Of course, I forget that the downhill ride toward climax and resolution is full of treacherous cliffs and jagged rocks. Not to worry though, once I get through the first draft I’ll have words on the page and I can start revising. That will be easy, right? Not so much. While revising I tend to tell myself to just get through the revisions, then I can go back to the easy part of writing fresh new words in a new book. But wait . . .
Yeah, I lie to myself.
Writing isn’t easy. It just isn’t. Oh, some days are easier than others, and sometimes writing is tons of fun, but it isn’t actually easy. I’ve written four (five?) complete novels at this point, and if anything, it’s getting harder, not easier. Apparently I’m a masochist because I keep coming back to my keyboard. Of course, being difficult doesn’t make it any less rewarding. (Also, I’m pretty sure the characters living in my head are vindictive enough to drive me insane if I refuse to write their stories.)
So what is the point of this blog post? Am I trying to scare the potential writers out there? Quite the opposite.
I was a guest at ConCarolinas this weekend, and after one of my panels (I think it was a panel on procrastination) a young man came up to me and we chatted about what was said on the panel and about writing in general. He eventually said, “It’s so hard. I have all these ideas, but I have so much trouble getting them down on paper.”
All I could do was stand there and nod because writing is hard. I totally agree. It’s hard for me too. I could lie to you like I lie to myself and say, “just get through this and it will get easier” but then when it doesn’t, you might think you’re doing something wrong or that you’re just not cut out for writing when the truth is that it’s hard for all of us. (That, or maybe I’m the one doing something wrong. LOL)
So, if you are writing and it’s all up hill, keep your chin up. Those who came before you had the same struggle and they made it. You can too.