For writers, writing is a love/hate existence. We are creatively drawn to writing, but it can often be a painful experience… equivalent to giving artistic birth.
The process of writing varies quite a bit. Some days the juices are flowing and everything just pours onto the page. Other days the blank page is equivalent to a two ton weight hanging around your neck.
Like most of the best things in life, writing comes with a price. Sometimes hefty, but, in the end, always rewarding.
When writing, there are three phrases that I keep in mind that help me forge through the tough times:
- Writers must love the process of writing – The love of writing must be stronger than the hate of the struggle it entails.
- Writing is rewriting – get the first draft completed anyway you can. The first draft is the hardest draft. If you accept that writing is rewriting, you’ll know that you’re going to have to rewrite it anyway. So purge the idea onto the page and worry about fixing it into your own personal masterpiece later.
- Anything can happen – when writers block occurs, it usually means that the writer has lost the story and no longer knows where it is going. They don’t know what happens next. And when faced with a creative moment where you feel like you’ve painted yourself into a plot corner, I always remember that anything can happen. And this frees me to come up with an imaginative plot twist that excises me from the painted corner and back into the meat of the story.
In the end, writers write. A lot of people love the idea of writing, but not actually the work involved. It’s very similar to how many people like the idea of losing weight, yet few want to do all of the work required.
Writers, on the other hand, have to write. They don’t really have a choice. Like a creative crack addict, no matter what happens, the urge for our next hit eventually overwhelms us.
As we work on the first draft of the second Gabby Wells novel, I keep focusing on the three items listed above. This novel goes to darker places and, as a writer, you have to be willing to go there as well. That can not only be uncomfortable to write, but unpleasant to experience, as you live the lives of the characters along with them.
Like it or not, however, if you’re a writer you write.
So, for us,it’s time to get back to the next blank page that awaits us.