Note: This post is by The Magic Violinist.
Writing is hard, plain and simple. There are days when it comes easy, when every word you type is gold and every page is poetry. But let’s be honest with ourselves here, most of the time you have to fight with every ounce of creative energy you have to get your ideas onto paper. And there are three things in particular that make the process so difficult.
1. The beginning
New projects can be so exciting! Whenever you get that first spark and your wheels are turning, it can feel like those perfect days of productivity. But starting is scary.
Actually facing this new idea and trying to figure out your first line and wondering where it’s going to go after that is often the first step toward procrastination. Instead of starting, you let the idea sit in your head, untouched.
Don’t confine yourself to a linear timeline. Start at the place that excites you most! Are you itching to reach the climax? Write that part instead.
Jump around, dabble in different chapters, do whatever works for you. Then, when you’re ready, fit all the pieces together.
2. The middle
So you’ve finally started, you’re writing like you’ve never written before, and then it hits you. The dreaded writer’s block. The good news is, we’ve all been there. The bad news is, it always sucks.
You can only go so far with a project before you start to run out of steam. This usually happens right around the middle mark of whatever you’re writing.
Take a break. It’s okay to walk away for a little while to recharge. Just don’t let that break stretch into weeks and months of writing absolutely nothing.
If you’re worried about slipping into an easy rhythm of binge-watching that new Netflix series or catching up on Facebook, take a break by working on something different. Write a poem or an article, something short that gives you that satisfaction of actually finishing something. When you’re ready to go back to your original project, it’ll come easier.
3. The end
(Bet you didn’t see that coming.) Now that you’ve finally pushed through the middle and hit your stride, something is fast approaching. It’s easy to see from this point: the end. This one is sometimes extra frustrating, because you’d think it wouldn’t be such a huge deal, right?
It’s supposed to be exciting to finish something! And it is, it’s so exciting. But because it’s been built up so much in your head, it can get tricky trying to create the perfect ending. It can even be hard to say goodbye. After working so closely with this project, you might not want to see it finished.
Try to remember that nothing about your writing has to be perfect. Think of your first draft as a playground. This is where you get dirt on your hands and scrape your knees and pick yourself up for the next adventure. You don’t have to worry about getting anything just right until you’re ready to edit. You’ll get plenty more opportunities to work on whatever piece you’re currently writing.
Give yourself a reward to look forward to once you’ve typed out “the end.” Watch a movie, go out for ice cream, something to reinforce those positive feelings of accomplishment.
Writing is hard. But the most rewarding activities are also often the most difficult. If you’re passionate, determined, and 100% ready to take on these challenges, you’ll see your writing through. I’m not going to say it’ll be easy, that’d be a lie. But you’ll love it every step of the way.
How do you tackle your writing difficulties?