Thursday, July 24, 2014

Writing IS Hard—No Kidding!

True confession time.

Writing is both the thing I love best and the thing I hate most.

When the words flow, it’s heaven on earth. When they stutter to a halt, the opposite is true. And the truth is, both of these circumstances are a regular part of the writer’s life.

We write when we feel like, and when we don’t; when we’re inspired, and when we’re not. Most of all we write because we have to. Putting words on paper is life to some of us and an addiction without a recovery group.

The time to write isn’t something we find. It’s something we sacrifice for, carving it out of lives that are as busy as anyone else. I get so weary of wanna-be writers complaining about no time to write.

I have author friends who don’t have the time either. One author I know honored a deadline even though his granddaughter was having brain surgery—he wrote in the hospital waiting room. Another, a stay-at-home mom, had just the opportunity of a contract and she wrote in the ten and fifteen minutes breaks available while caring for a special needs daughter, a preschooler and a toddler. 

I could share story after story after story about how writers I know have sacrificed to follow their vocation—all true. The truth is that we all have the same 24 hours in a day and we all have the choice of how to spend them.

“If you can imagine yourself doing anything else besides writing—do it!”

I’ve been known to give this advice to those just starting out—because they still have time to turn back. I’m a hopeless case. I’ll write myself into a grave and hopefully beyond.

Becoming a writer is a decision—followed by a life of choices that enable us to live out that commitment.

Here are some of the hard choices you’ll need to make to find writing success:
  • 1. Trading TV time for writing time. (You’ll need those hours to put words on paper.)
  • 2. Committing to a lifetime of learning and staying current with the publishing industry. (The industry is changing a lightning speed, either keep up or die.)
  • 3. Saying no to the good things, so you’ll have time to say yes to the best things. (Writing is an isolated life a lot of the time.)
  • 4. A willingness to write through the junk to get to gems. (Good writing is rewriting—don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.)
  • 5. The necessity of checking your ego at the door. (There’s always someone more talented, successful, lucky, etc. Get over it and move on.)
  • 6. A willingness to trust other professionals (like your agent and your editor).
  • 7. An unwillingness to compromise what truly matters. (And no this does NOT contradict #6)
  • 8. Trading talking about writing for actually putting words on the page. (Networking is important, but not as important as writing)
  • 9. The commitment to keep going when the odds seem impossible. (In this industry impossible odds is the new normal.)
Well, this is my list. It’s your turn to add your thoughts. You all always have such valuable insights, please share them below in the comments section.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!



  1. #s 1 & 2 I have no problem with. #3 is another story. Sigh. The rest I'm good with but that ding-dong #3 bites me every time! That's my hardest one to conquer, however, I'm working on it!!

    1. Ane, totally agree. #3 is my biggie as well! Blessings, E

  2. Love all of these, Edie! Like Ane, my bugaboo is #3. It's so easy to forget that what's good may not be what's best. Oh, and #4, too. It's hard to find the gems in all the junk sometimes!

    Thanks so much for the reminders!

    1. Angie, truthfully I've struggled with all of these at one time or another. It only took me about 5 minutes to come up with the list. Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, E

  3. What a great list! They are all true and all a struggle at different times. I think #9 is the one that's taunted me for the longest time...but maybe not so much anymore! :-)

    1. Lynn, you're definitely looking at #9 in the rearview mirror! You go girl!!! Blessings, E

  4. I've done all of these at one time or another - sometimes more than one at the same time. #9 is my biggest problem. When a dry spell hits, I hear the word "impossible" in my mind. It's hard to keep going but I'm pretty stubborn.

    1. Sherry, it is hard to move forward, especially during the dry spells. Thanks for stopping by and sharing! Blessings, E

  5. Great advice Edie! What advice or encouragement would you offer a recent graduate who's spending all their time looking for a new job and not enough

  6. Replies
    1. Laurie, during this time, write for yourself. It's time to recapture the joy! Blessings, E

  7. Such a good list. Definitely number 3 for me is the one that stops me constantly. But I want to do it all.....sigh...