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Remember, writing is difficult

April 8th, 2010

As a writer, I often beat myself up. I’m never writing enough, and what I write is never good enough. The intention is always to forget about that feeling and do it anyway, but every now and then it creeps back in there. I imagine you do that too. But perhaps we’re being too hard on ourselves. After all, writing is difficult.

  • How many people break their new years resolution, stop going to the gym after two sessions, fail their diet at the sight of a chocolate bar? Sticking something out requires discipline, and if it’s something you feel can be put off until the next day, it’s even harder. It will never be urgent.Sticking to a writing routine is difficult, especially when starting.
  • There’s never enough time. We can carve out a little niche here and there for writing, but the truth is things will never get done quickly enough to keep us satisfied, and there are always other commitments gnawing away.
  • There is a lot of competition out there. A lot. How many writing blogs are there by people who haven’t made it yet? How many fledgling writers reading them? It’s no wonder your story hasn’t been picked up. It’s going to take a lot of persistence
  • First drafts look like crap. It’s easy for us to write and write and look back and think, oh God, I can’t do this, it’s terrible. It’s difficult to write well, and easy to dismiss something as rubbish and forget the whole thing. But almost every writer writes badly in their first draft. Chill.

So next time you feel like you’ve not done enough, remember that this is hard. It takes a lot of work and dedication. You should expect to struggle occasionally. But you’re still here, you’re still doing it. That kind of attitude is half the battle.

Now, the list above is rather short, there are bound to be many more reasons that you can think of. Share them in the comments, please. And remember, these aren’t excuses, but they are reasons to cut ourselves a little slack every now and again. Not too much. Just a little.

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  1. Craig
    April 9th, 2010 at 22:12 | #1

    How about this one? “Writing always sounds so great in my head. You’ve got the characters, the tension, the drama, but when you get it on the page its inert and lifeless. Like somehow from transfer from your brain (awesome) to page (sucks) your hands or the computer or whatever messed up big time, and you cant get it back.” Thats how I often feel.

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