Something that I think is misconstrued about being a writer is that it is a glorious affair in which the heavens rejoice over poignantly illuminated prose writing. As if all existence can be summed up and shared with the world in a way that would eradicate hunger, sow peace between rival nations, and/or make immortality attainable. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Writing is romanticized much like war was during the times of the Greeks in epic fashion. For example, Ernest Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” This is probably one of the most romanticized ways of describing writing if ever there was one. I’ve done it from time to time too. Neither writing nor war are romantic. I’ll be speaking to the former here (I don’t think anyone is disillusioned when it comes to the horrors of war in this century).
Here’s the truth. Writing is both easy and hard depending on the day. I’m not sure it is romanticized like it was in past eras when books and plays were all the rage for entertainment. I kind of wonder if there is maybe a growing eagerness in the younger generations to write because there’s a belief that it’s a lost art (though it’s not) or that it has been raised on a pedestal in society to be another way to have your voice be heard and recognized among the masses. (Just some random thoughts I’ve had.)
What I want to convey today is that for me, writing is difficult–but also easy. Life does not sit back and say, “Tell you what, I’ll pause for a bit–take a siesta–and let you have a few hours to attack that scene you’ve been thinking about for the last two weeks.” Ha! I wish that were the case except I don’t. My writing itch would be like one of those medical monitors that tracks heart rates. Up and down, up and down. That incessant beeping must stop!
Take this last week. I started working on the film treatment for the movie idea I’ve had clattering about in my mind. I’ve worked on it and felt good about it (so far…) but I’ve struggled to keep consistently working on the revision of book 1 of the Ravanguard series. I would love for my desire to work on both to be of equal fervor but that’s been a bust. And often is to be honest. The creative juices go tepid from time to time and I’ve had to learn to be okay with it. Sometimes I grumble and sit in solitude but I roll with it.
All this is to say that writing is fluid and should be recognized as such. Maybe there are writers out there that can be disciplined to monk-like standards and write whenever they want and produce exactly the content they want but they are few and far between. The biggest challenge for the rest of us (whether you write blogs, articles, poems, short stories, novels, screenplays, technical manuals, etc.) is to find a balance, give ourselves grace when it’s needed, and by Jove, continue to have fun!
Call to Action: Find that happy medium when it comes to feeling overwhelmed by things. Take a walk, garden, cook, watch a movie, play music or even just sit back and read. These pastimes should be integrated into life. I know a lot of people who are not writers but would love to write something. I always encourage it to be done but definitely don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by the thought that it is too big a goal. It’s really not. You sit down and bleed on the paper. Ha!