Or, at least, I hope I’m not the only one.
When you think about it, writing creatively is one of the strangest things that you can do. Of course, it’s in equal parts terrifying, fulfilling and life-changing, but that transition from mind to paper can be a little tricky, can’t it?
Here are the problems you face as you battle your way through the words.
1. Reading something you’ve written and absolutely hating it. The absolute worst. Of course it’s true that you are your own worst critic, and that you’re going to have some bad days, but you’ve never honestly read anything so bad and you’ve got the terrible sinking feeling that you should just give up now. (You don’t, though. Of course you don’t.)
2. Writer’s block. It’s a horrible cliché but it’s real and it’s ruining your life. There’s nothing you want to do less today than write, but you’ve simply got to push through and know/hope/pray that it will all come together in the end.
3. Telling people you’re writing / have written a book and them asking immediately to read it. Thank you very much for your interest kind sir/madam but this book is a piece of my soul and I’m not quite sure that I’m ready to share it just yet. Unless you want to edit all four hundred pages for me? In which case, that would be great.
4. It’s all going great, everything is going so splendidly well. And then it comes to you in the middle of the night. A question. A problem. A plot hole. And then you spend the next few days obsessing over how to fix it, how to patch together the now gaping-wide crevice in your story, and make it seem like you always intended it to be that way. And if you’re anything like me and have written a book with very little planning and timelines involved, then you’re going to be facing this kind of problem a lot when it comes to editing. Woe is us; we are a chaotic bunch.
5. The strange, unnerving feeling in your heart which makes you wonder if you’re doing the right thing, pursuing a path so precarious and ill-formed. You hear something on the news, see a statistic about how writing is a dying art, how nobody will pay for it anymore, and then you’re questioning your entire existence and your whole future.
But I’m here to tell you that it is worth it. That what you’re writing is important, and it is necessary. Because what you’re doing is noticing the small things and jotting them down. And what you’re doing is thinking about the big ideas and painting them with your words. And if that makes you happy, then chances are one day it could make somebody else happy. And that, I think, is what it’s all about it.
And if you won’t listen to me, for the love of all things literary please listen to Maya Angelou. Don’t keep that untold story within you, set it free.
– Good luck, writers.