Posted by: Genene Valleau
Status: Almost done!
Is writing hard?
I'm going to propose the Henry Ford answer, "It is if you think it is."
Most of us have heard writers say sometimes stories just flow, and other times they need a dictionary to spell the word "hard." Do we make that choice--perhaps unconsciously?
My experience with drafting scene sheets for my nine-book series suggests we do make that choice. At first, the ideas flowed as fast as I could type them into the computer. I was amazed. Astonished. Awestruck.
Then worry snuck in that this couldn't last. And guess what? My worry started choking off the flow of words. Doing those scene sheets became a chore that I didn't want to face. So I started procrastinating--which I'm very good at and which is a sure sign that I'm avoiding a lesson I need to learn. But when I was completely honest with myself, I knew my fears were choking off my writing. If they were easy to write, the stories wouldn't be good enough. After all, writing is supposed to be hard, right? What if I wasted the time and money of my publisher? What if, what if, what if...
What if I just sat down and trusted the story to come? What if I knew surprises were in store for each scene that would fit perfectly? What if I just relaxed into the joy of writing?
And soon I did sit down. And the surprises came. And I enjoyed working on those scene sheets again.
Please notice that I didn't say I turned on my computer one day and found a completed story. I believe we still have to take action, but I also believe our perception of writing as hard or as a creative journey affects how the stories flow.
If we step back and look at those times when writing seems hard, we may learn that we've strayed from the story or taken a side road that has dead ended. Or we haven't dug deep enough into the emotions, motives or goals of the characters. Or we haven't done enough research. Or there's another issue with the story that we haven't recognized yet.
And perhaps the issue isn't the story at all. Maybe the issue is an external stress of short deadlines or the pressure of appealing to agents, editors, or readers. We want each story to have more action, more suspense, more sex, more something...
Yet if we let our writing journey unfold at its own pace, won't this happen naturally because we learn something with each book?
So what do you think? Is writing hard?
While you ponder these questions, I'm going back to working on my taxes--which I've put off for far too long. Then I'm going to take my own advice and work on my novella. Because writing flows easily, right?