Flickr: ed_needs_a_bicycle

Being a Writer is Hard

It is easy to forget about the process.

Being a writer is a lonely profession. Unlike more common career paths, there are no patterns to study, no collaborators for discussion, and no users to ask for feedback. Sure, there are editors and the reader. But how can a draft show potential? A writer is so so alone with the words.

The worst part of writing is the feeling of a block. You see a white canvas in front of you. A taunting blinking cursor. There is possibility, you think. You have dreams of what the words can be. You study the books and articles that you love, but you don’t want to quite emulate it. And you wonder with the shiny laptop and the blank word processor, how can you put what you want to say into a honed paragraph?

Then you wonder what you got yourself into. Although you have the whole outline waiting in front of you. This is the outline that you prepared for your agent, carefully describing every single section. But the words don’t tumble out as easily when you don’t have an audience.

Your voice is so lost. You want to say “there was a silver tricycle with a freezer attached”. But it sounds so awkward. You try again rephrasing the words again: “a silver tricycle carefully rests behind the kitchen”. But that still does not sound right—the tricycle isn’t in the building. Then maybe you just say “a silver tricycle is behind the kitchen”. Should you add the words “motionless”? How about the fact that a freezer is attached to the tricycle and that the owners ride it out to local farmers markets every week? You say it in six sentences, and you hate it, because it feels like a broken nail. You can feel the words clumsily staggering down the street, bumping nosily into garbage cans and street lamps with their too many adjectives, too many adverbs, and too many run-on sentences. And where was that oxford comma supposed to go? So you try again and again until you throw your hands in the air.

Instead, you play Candy Crush Saga. The crushing candies soothes your nerves for a moment. Soon you lose a life, reminding you that you are procrastinating.

Inside,anxiety fills you up like a water balloon. You wonder how the great writers in the world did it. Especially the ones who put pen to paper and inked out great masterpieces in one week’s time.

You take a deep breath and scroll up to the top. You admire the first line: “It all started with snow.”