On the Struggles of Writing

You’ve tried them all. Early morning. Late night. Home. Coffee shop. Open schedules. Timers. Keyboard. Pen and paper.

Nothing seems to work.

You set the stage. You read to get in the mood. Blogs of famous authors. Articles on how to write. Some tell you to write for others. Others tell you to write for yourself. You keep reading until the words are about to burst out of your head.

Finally you’re ready to write.

The blank page stares you down. Where do you start? You squeeze the words through your fingers. You type furiously. The words don’t come out, only bricks.

How do you clean up the mess?

You tweak words here and there. It just gets uglier. Plastic surgery on a deformed face. Add words and you mutate it. Subtract words and you mutilate it.

You fall back to the rabbithole of more research. You find the soundbites and the pretty words and stitch them all together.

You read what you write. It’s the same icky feeling when you hear your voice in a recorded video. It doesn’t sound like you at all.

You delete and rewrite, over and again. Does it sound too preachy? Too dry? Not logical? You think about all the time you could’ve spent doing something else.

You shuffle the words around. Some stay put. Others run away. You’re a dog chasing your tail. You’re Sisyphus pushing the boulder up the mountain. You do not see the light at the end of the tunnel.

You dig deeper. You have no choice. Writing is the only way you know to think. You keep plowing through.

The faint glimmer of a shape. You see it. The words start clumping together. You keep digging. You hear the beat of your fingers. It silences the million other voices in your head.

Suddenly you’re no longer digging. You’re dancing to the beat of your fingers. To the shape of the words. The world fades into a blur. The words come into focus. They take on a life of their own. You and the words become one. You’re on top of the world. You’re the master of the universe. When you’re no longer conscious, the words all come rushing out.

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