distraction no.99

Nova Ren Suma | On Writing & Writing Distractions

Not an Author Newsletter… something else.

This Writing Thing Is SO HARD

The title of this post? I said those exact words yesterday. I’m a few days from finishing this round of revision and turning it in. I’m a mess. I’m trying so hard. I have no perspective anymore. I’m forcing myself to work at a pace that’s unnatural to me—in my natural state, it would take me five years to write a good novel because I enjoy spending all day on a single paragraph and I like to procrastinate and make excuses and wait for the so-called muse to hit—and working at this speedy pace involves fighting myself and pushing myself and by the end of the day I am flat-out exhausted and aching and can only collapse in bed thinking of what I still have to revise tomorrow.

And yet.

Because last night, out loud, I whined that writing is so hard. And then I heard myself. I heard myself. Hard? This writing thing is SO HARD? Really? It’s “hard” to spend all day writing a story I made up in my head full of things that fascinate and inspire and tickle and terrify me? It’s “hard” to be able to write instead of having to be at my old day job? It’s “hard” to push myself to finish the draft of a book I love so I can show it to one of the most talented editors in my field, so she can then read it and help me make it better? Really, now… That’s “hard”?

That’s a phenomenal moment to be in, is what that is.

So, yeah, I felt like a dope.

And yes, writing can be “hard”—but in the most rewarding way possible, which means it’s really not so hard after all now, is it? Back to revising.

13 responses to “This Writing Thing Is SO HARD”

  1. Wow, I really needed this, today. It’s the kick in the proverbial pants that will make me finish up this scene. Thank you, as usual, for the perspective. 🙂

  2. Ha! I thought the same thing yesterday Nova! I’m almost done with line edits for When You Were Here, but they are painstaking! And require so much precision and additional research and TIME. And they’re exhausting. And HARD!

    But, you know, wonderful too…

  3. If I were a psychology major, or knew someone who was, I’d want to do a study on creative psychosis. It’s such a universal phenomenon to see an artist actually lose touch with reality to the point where they don’t even know if what they’re producing is good or not, even when the day before they thought it was amazing. What’s happening in our brains that makes us so incapable of confidence sometimes? *shakes head*

    Anyway, good luck with the rest of your revisions!

  4. Oh wow… that’s totally the kick we all need sometimes! I’m bookmarking this post for later. Thank you, Nova! 🙂

  5. Going through the same thing right now. I’ve been stuck for weeks, wondering how I’ll ever finish my current WIP. The only answer I have is Nike’s – Just do it! That doesn’t make it any less hard, though.

    But I wonder, if it wasn’t hard and frustrating and lonely and boring and even maddening at times, would any of us bother? It’s kind of a religious debate for me – without the bad parts, how could we ever appreciate (or even recognize) the good?

  6. I agree with dockstone. Writing IS hard. If it wasn’t everyone would be doing it, and doing it well. That doesn’t mean it’s without rewards or it isn’t a dream fulfilled to be able to do it for a living. Gratitude is a wonderful component of being a part of this creative field, but don’t shortchange the work you do. There is nothing wrong with feeling challenged by your work; indeed, that challenge, those moments of “this is hard” keeps us pushing ourselves to be better, to be our personal best. Just because you love what you do and are surrounded by others with high levels of talent, doesn’t mean it isn’t hard, that you didn’t work hard to get where you are . . .

  7. Lovely post, Nova! You’re absolutely right–writing is hard, but being able to do what you love for a living is a truly wonderful place to be in. 🙂

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