Trying to be an author is hard. It is so freaking hard. I remember when I first started out words felt easy. I would write with reckless abandon, never stoping to pause if that was the right way to take the story, if I had enough description, too much description, enough back story, not enough back story. I just wrote. It was glorious. That mad dash of creativity was an addictive high.
Now though, I find the more I want it the more paralyzed with self doubt I feel. I’m coming at a project that feels bigger than myself, and the intensity with which I want it, is overwhelming. I want it to be GOOD. Not good. But GOOD.
I want it to be the thing that people take notice of. I want it to be the thing people go wow she can write, she deserves this. The more I want it, the higher I pile those self expectations on, the harder the writing becomes. The easier it is to find reasons to not get to the page. I don’t have the time or the energy to give this what it needs, become default values in my vocabulary.
I try different methods. I try small daily word counts. I try large swaths of time on the weekend. I try deadlines. I try no deadlines. I try getting up early. I try staying up late. I try taking notes when inspired. I try getting a writing group together. I try sitting in the comfy creativity chair. Thus far the chair works. Some things work for a little while, others not at all.
Sometimes the math looks like 2438 words, 1 finished scene, and 5 hours of writing time. Creating feels strangely disproportional to the time and effort put into it. It’s like a black hole. On one hand I feel incredibly accomplished for the word count. On the other hand the time spent on it, I feel like I should have gotten more. A younger version of myself might have gotten more, but this version of myself, has a scene she loves, that will require very little work to polish later. A scene with far less gaps, and far better writing, than a younger me could have ever produced.
The truth is that the better you get, the more you realize how much harder doing it right is. How much more time and effort it takes. And that time and effort can act as barriers, and ad to the anxiety of wanting it now, in a world where we have fast rewards. However, writing a novel is like training for a marathon. It’s a long term goal.
So, this is me, plugging away at a thing that I love, that a younger me tried and failed writing many many moons ago, that I finally, finally feel I have the skill to tackle. It’s hard, but hard is worth it. That’s the thing we need to remember. Is that just because a thing is difficult, does not mean it is not worth the effort. This writing thing, will always be worth it for me.