Writing is hard. It is. Not because writing something is hard, because technically everyone can write something. Not because coming up with good ideas is hard, because all kinds of people (extraordinary and not so extraordinary) can come up with ideas everyday.
No, writing is hard because:
Discipline – it takes discipline to sit with a long writing project and not give up. It takes discipline to set aside time to write. Discipline sets the amateurs aside from the experts.
Facing a blank page – it’s terrifying to look a blank page and fill it. It takes courage to face that blank page often.
Editing and editing and editing – I hate editing chapters of my book. Yes, there is pleasure in making something better and adding in depth, but my god is it hard and less creative and fun than simply writing (in my opinion). Finding your own mistakes will always be difficult and admitting to yourself that something isn’t right and needs to change is horrible! But writers go through this all the time.
Knowing the difference between line editing and developmental editing – people who aren’t writers will probably not realise that there are different types of editing for written content. The two big ones are line editing and developmental editing (especially for manuscripts). Knowing the difference helps you with your own editing, and it helps with hiring an editor that’s right for your needs as a writer, too.
Having the strength and dedication to scrap it and start over – it is the hardest thing ever to let a piece of writing go. It’s even harder to start over. No one wants to and a lot of writers will stick with a piece of bad writing because they’ve given too much into it and they don’t want to start over. Well, it’s hard but a writer who wants to succeed will need to learn how to do this.
Realism – conveying realism in your writing is very difficult. Writing about something real involves research and attachment and time dedication. This is hard to do! Any writer will experience difficulties when it comes to writing something real and getting that realism across accurately.
Depth – adding the necessary depth into a piece of writing is extremely difficult. It’s easy (ish) to write something, but writing something that has depth, meaning, nuance, emotion, morals, and twists is the difficult part.
Message – this is difficult because sometimes writers don’t even know what the message is in their piece. What are you actually saying and why? It’s hard being a writer because you have to figure this out and convey it in the right way for your audience.
Handle criticism – writers have to handle so much criticism! It’s a creative art and so people will always have opposing opinions. And they will voice these opinions, welcomed or not! But every writer develops a backbone at some point otherwise they’ll break or fail in their career.
Audience – finding your target audience and writing to their needs is very difficult for a writer, unless it happens naturally. Knowing your audience goes a very long way with being a successful writer.
Loneliness – being a writer is a lonely profession. It doesn’t (usually) involve anyone else. You do it alone. This can become quite scary and lonely. Some people are good at being alone (like me) but it’s still hard because sometimes you’ll need help and support to keep you going and interested. Be ready for this and also have a way to combat this as a writer.
Complex plots – writing something simple is fine, but writing something complex is horrid! Writing a series, for example, or creating a whole other world (two things I do, *slaps forehead*) is where the difficulty comes in. Keeping up with the plot points, keeping consistency, maintaining interest, and not leaving any plot holes or unanswered questions is super difficult for any writer.
Can you think of anything that makes being a writer difficult? Can you relate? Let me know, fellow writers! And know that you’re not alone.