Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sometimes Writing is Hard!

Let's face it: writing isn't easy. Which is honestly a good thing, because almost everyone thinks they could/should write a book, and if it were easy, they all would, and then we'd have even less chance of getting published.

But that doesn't mean it's not hard to keep going.

I try to stay pretty positive--especially on this blog, because really, who wants to read a bunch of whiney posts? But I'll be honest here for a second. It's difficult!

This journey has had so many ups and downs it's not even funny, and there are definitely days when I want to delete my draft, back over my laptop with my car, and write this whole 'getting published' thing off as a 'phase.'

So how do I keep going?

For one thing, I try to take it day by day. I try to remind myself that for every day where I feel like every sentence I write is made of suckage, there are days when I love my story, and my characters, and feel like I'm finally getting the scenes right.

There's also having friends/CPs/Beta readers to talk to. It's amazing how much easier it is to keep going after talking to someone who understands what I'm feeling--and can tell me it's okay to feel that way. Bonus: most of the times these people have read some of my writing and can give me the much needed assurance that me, my book, and/or my ideas do not suck--even though I'm convinced at that point that they do.

Then there's what I learned this weekend: the value of recharging. Giving myself some 'me time'--even if it's only a few hours. Shoot, maybe it's only a few minutes. Taking an extra long, extra hot shower so I can have a few moments to relax.  Hitting snooze once or twice, so I can lay there and daydream.  Taking a short walk (which I fully intend to start doing--erm--as soon as it's not so hot outside. I planned to start yesterday, but holy heatstroke warnings Batman!)

And if all else fails: desserts!

What about you guys? Anyone else think writing is hard??? How do you keep going when you feel like giving up? Anyone want to join me in an extra thick slice of cake covered in ice cream?


  1. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who wants to hit the delete button some days. I'm not sure of any easy ways to get through those days except to try to stay positive and remember the good days when the writing goes well or your critique partners like what you wrote.

  2. Writing is easy ... but you're right, writing really well is tough.

    Going it alone only makes it harder. It's the relationships that keep me going. I was about to give up before I started blogging and met all you other wonderful writers out there!

  3. I for one am all for seeking inspiration in chocolate! :-)

    And giving yourself me time is good too! I think as my mum would say "no pain no gain"! But it helps if you have chocolate and some adult beverages too.

    take care

  4. I've felt like this most days lately. I've also been trying to curb my whiny posts. I think it's the heat. We've finally had clouds and rain the last two days and I actually feel human again. As opposed to a dish rag.

    And chocolate, as always, does help.

  5. It is hard-very hard. I keep on track by finding other ways to write when the novels frustrate me, like blogging or whatever. Also, dessert's do help-BIG TIME.

  6. Dorothy Parker once said, "I hate writing, but I love having written."

    That about sums it up for me most of the time.

    Over the past two weeks I've sat and stared at my laptop screen, trying to will the words to come. They haven't. It's not like I didn't know what came next in the story, it's just that the words would not come out.

    Then, for the past two days, I've found The Groove. Sunday I ended up scratching the side of my left arm almost raw to keep typing rather than to get up and put something on it to stop the itching. I didn't want to lose that connection!

    3,000 words later, I'm much a much happier writer -- and a much more tired one. (Sleep? Who needs sleep? I'm writing here! Can't you see that?


  7. Bring on the dessert, double the chocolate, and layer it with ice cream. I'll bike in a few minutes. But first, yes! I signed up for a novel writing workshop where I'll travel to PA, spend a considerable amount of money to go, then the committee kept heckling me about how dumb an idea THAT was, how my novel sucks, that I'm really a novelist anyway, and that I'm wasting my money. But, I'm going anyway. It will be a lovely vacation. Maybe the Committee will stay home. They're not invited anyway.

  8. I totally agree with you! Recharging is so important.spaessi

  9. Writing well IS difficult.

    And it comes with a big ol' side of crazy.

    Thank Godiva for CPs and writer friends (and supportive husbands), and desserts, and salty, crunchy snacks, and a perfectly blended cocktail. (my summer cocktail is usually a top shelf margarita on the rocks...but my homemade fruity sangria is lovely too. Gotta have some variety.)
    In the summer, I solve my plot snags by:
    Surfing. Works every time. I think it's the part where I'm just floating on the board, waiting for a wave.
    If I can't get to the beach, I like to float on a raft in my pool, with a cocktail, and just kinda zone out. About the time I need a refill, I usually have solved the plot problem I'm having.

    Concerning the part where we think our writing sucks hard, and I don't have an original idea in my pea brain ... yeah. That's why we have betas, CP's and snackages/drinky-poos...and why we have to back away from the laptop.

    Living a full, well-rounded life, getting away from writing once and a while, spending time with non-writing friends is all good for you.


  10. Oh man. It is SO hard. I mean, I knew that on some level, I guess. But I really had NO FREAKING IDEA until I was in the middle of it. Yikes.

    Bring on the desserts!

  11. I agree that writing is quite hard. Everyone looks at a book and thinks, "I can do that." When, in essence, it is one of the hardest things to do--and that's just the writing part!

  12. Oh I'm totally with you: writing is hard! But it's totally worth the effort when I finally finish a piece of work and feel so proud. But yeah, the journey involves a lot of sweets ;-)

  13. It is hard! Glad I am not the only one that sometimes looks at their writing and says Holy Hot Sauce...this stuff sucks.

    I don't actually say Holy Hot Sauce but I plan to from now on.

    And somedays I look at it and think wow this stuff is pretty good...JK Rowling should retire early cause the competition is heating up.lol

  14. Definitely hard to keep going. So far, my cheerleader (aka husband) keeps me on the right path when I'm convinced there's not point in continuing.

  15. Oh, DESSERTS! Thank goodness for desserts.

    I hear you. It's SO hard. I'm struggling right now with a character arc and I tell you, it's the most difficult thing I've had to do. Sometimes I worry, worry, worry that I might not get it right.

    But like you I take it one day at a time! Each new day is a fresh start with my writing and I have to keep believing I WILL get it right.

  16. You're so cute, Shannon. I love your post. We writers definitely picked a tough road, but the rewards are great!

  17. I was surprised at how complicated it got when I started. Keeping characters straight, locations, keeping the plot moving at a sensible pace....there's so much detail to juggle! I can do it, but the tedium of managing it kills creativity sometimes, don't you think?

  18. Writing is easy. Writing WELL is hard. And I'd like to actually whine a moment about my pet peeve: when people seriously ask me to write their life story for them. They so don't get that writing for me must come from inspiration, and nobody's real life could inspire me as much as my own imagination. It may sound cruel, but it's who I am as a writer.

    Whew, glad I got that off my chest. Thanks for letting me vent.


Yay-I love comments! Thank you so much! (But please remember to keep your comments spoiler-free. Also, I try to keep this a happy, positive place. Any arguing or intense debate--on any subject will be removed. Let's keep this a safe, fun space.