The Path Of A Writer: The Process And The Frustration

I haven’t really discussed it much on the blog, other than as a passing reference here and there when I’m writing about something else, but I’ve been pouring all my attention and energy into writing the novel I want to finish. Writing a book isn’t exactly a small feat and to avoid making the whole process completely overwhelming, you set up tiny goals you feel you can meet. The bigger goal is to finish the first draft. The smaller goal is to set up a consistent schedule to keep writing, even on those days when you don’t feel like it.

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I’ll confess I haven’t quite found my writing groove yet or a schedule I reasonably keep. There are days when I sit at the computer and I’m able to just write from where I left off with my novel. Other days I feel terrified of opening the document and find myself either free writing just to write or I don’t do any writing at all for the day. The times when I don’t do any writing at all actually makes me feel guilty. I feel like I let myself down or I’m not trying hard enough to reach my goals. I think we often put unnecessary pressure on ourselves when we don’t have to. It usually requires simply taking a breath and trying again tomorrow. Making some progress instead of no progress is a tiny victory, which will eventually lead to the bigger ones.

I always believe doing anything significant and meaningful to you won’t always be an easy path to take, but it will require a measure of persistence, patience, and determination to achieve what you believe is worth all the struggle in the end to get there. It requires a mental toughness to not bend when you’re faced with obstacles and setbacks you’re almost certain to encounter. Writing has always been a huge part of my life from the moment I realized I like creating my own stories. I love how words seem to have the power to spark an emotional or mental response from readers or the way words just come together like a perfect symphony on the page. Writers are naturally admirers of and inspired by other works of authors who have achieved what seems impossible––publishing a work of art that’s read by many around the world.

Part of the purpose and goal of a writer is to eventually have your work published. Aside from drawing out the story contained within and turning it into something concrete and real by typing it on a screen, you want to be able to share your world with other people. Stories are a shared experience and there has been a long standing tradition of passing along those stories as a way of preserving and ensuring future generations will learn what they can from them. The tricky part is actually getting your vision written down. Fear and a sense of inadequacy are the real enemies holding most writers back from getting their story written down. We’re scared we may not be good enough or our ideas are stupid. We’re afraid of failing and wasting time actually making the effort to try anyway. It’s a mental prison we place ourselves in when all it takes is to remove ourselves from it, stare down our fears and insecurities, and just do.

I struggle with this fear daily as someone who has yet to be a published author. It often hinders you and distracts you from the task at hand. It’s often easier to not do anything at all because you have no chance of failing, right? Wrong. Not doing anything about it only hurts you in the long run. You’ll live with regret and never knowing if you actually had a shot at becoming a successful writer. This to me is a whole lot scarier than finishing what may be a mediocre novel maybe no one will want to read. How will I know unless I really truly try? The process and frustration is a painful experience and a huge undertaking to deal with on a daily basis, but I rather endure it until I finally have a finished product. No one ever said being a writer will be easy, but it’s a path I wouldn’t hesitate taking over and over again when it’s a passion that has become as natural to me as breathing.

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2 thoughts on “The Path Of A Writer: The Process And The Frustration

  1. Great post. I’m sure you know I can relate to pretty much all of this! I also feel guilty when I don’t make time to write at all. But like you say, it’s worth the struggle and better to see what happens with a finished novel than not try at all!

    I also like how you said fear of failure is like a mental prison and you just have to stare down your fears and insecurities. I struggle with that on and off. As soon as I’m on a roll, I’ll have some doubt that makes me wonder if my story is even any good, etc. But it’s like you can’t really avoid those feelings — you just have to acknowledge them and beat them I guess!

    Anyway, good luck as you keep on writing! 🙂

    1. Thanks! 🙂 And yeah, we’re definitely in this struggle together! I think all writers really can’t help but feel a certain way about their writing. A friend actually told me that great or well-known writers like Dr. Seuss and Harper Lee almost trashed their works because they thought it wasn’t any good. I think the lesson to take away from such examples is you really don’t know what you have until you just get it written all down. It’s comforting to know that we all think our work sucks but we still write anyway and then we see what happens!

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