The Painful Endurance of Writing

I love writing. I love it so much that I get excited over the very act. I enjoy the feel of a pen or pencil in my hand as I scribble on paper. I even enjoy using a computer document program, my fingers typing the keys to unleash my flow of ideas. Whatever the method, I am in my happy place when I write. I already alluded to releasing a flow of ideas, but let me expand on that. Writing gives an opportunity to say what you want to say. I am not a talker, so this is my modus operandi when it comes to communication. I write better than I speak. But even though I love writing, I’ll be the first to admit it is not easy. Writing is hard.

There are, perhaps, some to whom writing comes naturally. (And I would venture to say their numbers are relatively few.) Writing to these people is liking breathing, an automatic biological function to which we usually pay no heed. We don’t think about breathing. We just do. That is how writing is to them. The journey from mind to paper or electronic document is generally a smooth one. Maybe they encounter some bumps, big or small, on the road, but overall, writing is a long but simple journey.

I am not one of those lucky people. I am one of those who has a road map but hits nearly every bump, pot hole, and wrong turn. I stop at several scenic views, and I move lazily as I peruse the sights. I take forever getting to my destination. Sometimes, I feel like I’m lost and getting no where. And sometimes, I find myself wanting to quit in the middle. With this feeling of defeat, which is very common for me in my writing experience, I just want to drop everything. I would ask myself, at this point, why even write when I can’t do it. Why when I love writing?

First, let me reiterate that no matter what you’re working on, writing is an arduous process. You want to present your best effort, and so you take care to revise, revise and revise, whether it’s a completed rough draft or a rough draft outline. There is more to writing fiction than character, setting, and plot, though these three are the biggest camps. Maybe you’re the type to worry about what happens beyond those three, or maybe you’re not. I’ll probably say more about this in a future post.

Writing is a lot of hard work. It takes time, effort, and energy. You spend hours in front of your computer or even a notebook, thinking and sketching out ideas. Maybe you’re one of those people who struggle to come up with an engaging sentence. You feel like you’re writing an instruction manual, rather than a story. Perhaps, your character is falling out of character, or you find a character boring. You find yourself asking, “how is this possible when I created him or her?” Basically, frustration, tears, and maybe some perspiration come with the package. So, in a sense, writing also takes courage. You’re dedicating time and energy into your project, and there may be times when you wonder is the trouble worth it. Why bother wasting anymore of your time when you can be doing “more profitable” work?

First, if you love writing, and it’s your passion, it’s not a waste of time. Second, at this point, I am not a published author. It doesn’t feel right for me to say this, but I’ll say it anyway. The key is don’t give up. Writing is like being in a relationship, and if you want it to succeed, you’ll work for it. Block out those voices that say “you can’t.” You’re doing whatever you can, the best you can, to share your voice, to achieve a dream, or perhaps to fulfill a calling. Maybe writing is meant to be your career. Who knows until you try.

The point is don’t give up. Hold on to that hope.

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