Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Writing is easy... or is it?

"Writing is easy. All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead." Gene Fowler

Anybody besides me take exception to that comment? 

Yes, writing IS sometimes that difficult (though I usually refer to those moments as "pulling out fingernails" rather than sweating drops of blood). There are tough patches in every story, and once a writer goes pro and makes the writing a job, going to work is sometimes not fun  -- just as any job has a downside.

But if writing is consistently that difficult, then something needs to be changed. 

The kind of story? (If the author's trying to write something trendy even though it's not to his/her personal taste, it's going to be a rough road. What do YOU want to write?) 

The working conditions? (Some writers pack up and go to a hotel for a weekend -- or  week -- when they're on deadline, so they can focus. But even moving to another room, or writing with pencil on a legal pad instead of on a keyboard, can help.) 

The pace? (Has the author committed to too many hours, too many words, too much writing to be feasible along with the other demands of life? And I'm not just talking about people with contracted deadlines here. Any of us can set the goals so high we fail and end up hating ourselves and our story. What's realistic for you?)

Yes, writing is work. But unless it's fun, too -- at least a good part of the time -- take a closer look at what you're doing and what you can change in order to get the fun back, so you don't have to sweat those drops of blood day in and day out.

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