Even though I write for a living and even though I do it nearly every day, I don’t always love it. In fact, sometimes, I really don’t like it at all. This is especially true if I’m writing a “high stakes” piece. I would consider this to be anything that someone else is going to read – which is just about everything I write!
I want it to be brilliant. I want you to read it and be blown away. I want you to send it on to everyone you’ve ever met. And, I fear you will either stop reading after the first sentence or read it and roll your eyes. So I agonize and I delay. I stress and I grumble at any distraction, even the darling blond- haired blue-eyed seven-year-old variety. There are times when it seeps into everything and the frustration slips into despair.
Sometimes the problem is that I don’t have enough information. Sometimes it’s I just don’t have a good sense of where the story should go. That’s when I have to remind myself to step back. I try to figure out what’s missing. I write an outline or just start listing the points I want to make. I ask myself the questions I think my readers would want answered. Most importantly, I get started.
Eventually, usually, it comes together and I my nerves calm down as things fall into place. I feel bright and sunny and that the world is a happy place.
I hesitate to share this. I’d love to keep up the facade that writing always comes naturally and easily. But, I want to encourage others to write and that means letting them know that it’s not always easy or natural. It’s just a process. Struggling with writing doesn’t indicate whether you are good at it or not or whether you should be doing it or not. It’s what you do with the struggle. It’s whether you let that stop you or not. I think it helps to recognize what’s happening. If you know that it’s just a stage, you can push through it.
P.S. For the struggling bloggers – I actually wrote this piece a while ago when I was less busy and it was on my mind. I had something else to post that week so I saved it for a week like this one, which was crazy and hectic and filled to the brim with things other than writing a blog post. So if you have extra time (hah?) give yourself a gift and write a little something for later.