As you probably gathered from the title of this post, I struggle with writing. Which is kind of inconvenient because I really like to write. I say “really like” because I’m not sure if I love it. I’d like to, and there are days when my creative juices are flowing and everything I want to convey ends up on the page and then I do backflips out of happiness. (Side note: I wish I could do a backflip). And then there are the rest of the days. The days when it takes me an hour to write one sentence. The days when I stare at a blank page knowing no matter what I do nothing brilliant is going to happen. Those are the days when WRITING IS HARD!!!
But let’s be honest. Writing isn’t that hard. Construction work is hard. Ice road trucking is hard. (I mean it looks hard based on those commercials). But writing? Not so much. All it really is, is putting one word after another and playing make believe inside your head. But you know what makes it difficult? Me. I sit down to write with a pile of insecurities stacked on the desk next to me. (Here are some examples: I’ll never be as good as so-and-so. My ideas suck. I’ll never finish this). I want my work to be perfect the first time I write it because drafts are SUCH A WASTE OF TIME! (Not really. Drafts are actually great). I convince myself I can get it right the first attempt so that I can save myself time and effort down the road. (I’m real big on saving time.) But in reality, it doesn’t save me time. It stops me from moving forward at all. And here’s the thing: I don’t even know if I want to be a writer. I mean, let’s face it. I don’t have next week planned out. I certainly don’t have what I want to be when I “grow up” planned. I’m just writing for fun, not to get published. Just because I like stories. So I really shouldn’t be over-thinking it.
But I do. And from what I’ve heard, this is normal with artists of any type. Whether it’s dancing, painting, sewing, sculpting, building, whatever it is, we tend to doubt our own work. And that’s okay. In fact, it’s probably healthy. But not when self-doubt stops us from creating.
So yeah. Writing is hard. But it’s also fun. And that’s what’s important. Sometimes we just have to get out of our own way.