Writing is hard.
I know this.
But some days, it's harder than others. Like yesterday.
I took a nap yesterday because, well, I wanted to, and when I woke up, I thought, let's boot up the laptop and do a bit of editing. So I did. And I dug into the story, prepared to create a masterpiece. (Ok, not a masterpiece, but you get the idea.) And of course, everything I read looked like total and complete crap. It was boring. And I thought, if I'm bored, the reader is going to be even MORE bored and never finish the book!
And it made me think of all those people who believe that writing is easy, that you just dream up a clever little story and put it down on the page. But it's not easy. It is soooooo not easy. Maybe that's why, over the years, I have collected motivational writing books like The Writer's Book of Hope and The Courage to Write, both by Ralph Keyes, and Writing from the Inside Out by Dennis Palumbo. I need to know that I'm not alone, that not just any one can put fingers to keyboard and type a great story.
It's not just about coming up with a good idea - you have to convey it in so many ways through craft. There's pacing. And character motivation. And goals. And conflict. Foreshadowing. Metaphors. The list goes on and on.
There's a ton of quotes from writers about this subject. Here are just a few:
"I would never encourage anyone to be a writer. It's too hard." - Eudora Welty
"Writing is easy. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein." - Red Smith
Of course, there's only one thing to do. Keep at it. But when you have moments like I did last night, sometimes it's also best just to walk away and leave it for another day. And that's exactly what I did. My mind wasn't in the right frame to tackle the editing. Why create more frustration for myself? Sometimes a little distance - even a few hours or so - can make all the difference.
What is your most challenging aspect of writing?