If you had asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up the answer probably would have been a writer. Unless of course you asked me near the Olympics, then the answer would have been either a figure skater or a gymnast! I have always wanted to write. I love everything about being a writer; the words, the stories, the characters, the fancy coffee, the scarves. Everything that is except for the actual writing.
There I said it; I am a writer that HATES to write! What? Is that even possible. Possible? I do it all the time. So if I hate writing so much why have I always wanted to do it? Well, maybe hate isn’t the right word, it’s just that writing is….well…hard. The hardest part is the writing part. The part that I’m doing right now. The part where you type whatever is going on in your head. Do you want to know why?
It takes Discipline. Yes, it takes a lot of discipline to write. It seems like it is the task that is never done. You don’t really feel like going and doing it either. It is something that you have to sit down and do everyday whether you want to or not. And if you’re writing toward a deadline (and don’t we all have a deadline of some kind) it gets even worse. And to be honest. Discipline and deadlines are something that I have always struggled with. Why? Because I struggle with consistency! And because I’m lazy. But if you are ever going to succeed in writing you must have Discipline. You have to make yourself, FORCE yourself, to sit down and do it. Even when Pinterest would be so much more exciting right now, and even when you have no idea what to write. Which brings me to my next point………
Sometimes you have no ideas! Most of the time when I sit down to write all I do is stare at a blinking cursor. I scroll up and down a blank sheet of paper and think, ‘Well that must be what’s on my mind…nothing’. And then when I finally manage to write something it turns out to be just a jumbled bunch of sentences that may or may not have any relevance to what I am supposed to be writing about. Which would be number three.
It has to make sense! That’s right! And sometimes this is a tough one. It can’t just make sense to you it also has to be correctly interpreted by others! People that don’t know you, or how you think. What?! But that’s not all, it even has to be spelled correctly and be grammatically correct. That’s right… big bad Grammar. Of course we don’t have to worry about that right now. After all this is only the first draft. (Sigh of relief) That all happens later, through a process called ‘editing.’
Editing. The only part of writing I hate more than writing. This is where you go through the roller coaster process of reading your work again and again. You read while your mind is going from thoughts like, “This is really good, I may really have something here.” To “This is the dumbest thing I have ever read, where is the shredding machine!?” You start to agonize over little things. Scrutinizing each sentence asking yourself things like, ‘Is that a good word for that?’ ‘Is this sentence to wordy, or to boring?’ ‘Can a rabbit actually gallop?’ If that’s not bad enough the next step is….
Proofreading. This is when you promptly forget all of the grammar you have ever learned in your life! It’s also when you learn to fear commas. You have no idea where they should be, you just know that you should have some. And that they go……. where? The only thing more terrible than commas are the semicolons and colons. But how will your writing be academic without a few of those?!
Writing is hard, there is no doubt about it. But just because something is hard doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it. Even more importantly, just because writing might not be easy for you doesn’t mean that you can’t become a good writer.
Even on those days when it’s hard. I will keep writing. Why? Because I love it. I love the words that dance through your mind when you’re jogging. I love the story ideas and characters that wake you up at midnight. I love the satisfaction of reading something I wrote (and edited). I love to write. Even when I hate it.