Writing is hard. Unsurprisingly so.
But, if you think about it, it shouldn’t really be that hard. All it is is getting your thoughts down on paper (or on screen if your are living in the 21st century). Why is that so hard to do? It’s a question I’ve been asking myself recently, since I’ve decided to write more — or, more accurately, at all. And what I think is the answer comes from a quote credited to Henry Ford:
“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it.”
The thing about writing is it’s mainly thinking. The hard part isn’t just the writing itself. At least, for a non-writer like me. It’s the thinking behind the writing. It’s thinking about which words to use. How to structure it. Writing style. But even before that, it’s the thinking about what the hell you’re gonna write about.
And therein lies the biggest problem. The blank page. This, of course, is no secret to anyone who has ever attempted to write anything, ever. The blank page is the scariest thing in the world. (Actually, there are plenty of other scarier things out there.) It’s scary because for every good essay, blog post, novel, even biography, you can write there’s an infinite number of bad ones. And nobody wants to be bad at anything.
But I say why not? Who cares? Who cares if you write a bad essay, blog post, novel, even biography? The worst that could happen is… no one reads it.
In the age of the internet, everybody is a blogger/author/journalist/novelist/biographer.
There is so much out there to read, who has time to read the badly written stuff? (Hopefully this is not an ironic rhetorical question, in this case.) And even if someone of some arbitrary significance/popularity stumbles upon your badly written work, and, for lord knows what reason, decides to read it, and rips it apart with criticism, so what? There are greater tragedies in the world — like Justin Bieber’s career.
I say write. Write bad stuff — which is inevitable, really. Dig through the dirt. Dig deep until you find diamonds. And if you don’t find any, dig deeper or dig somewhere else. And who knows? You might go digging for diamonds and find gold instead. But you’ll never know if you don’t dig…Or is it write? I forget.