Friday, February 27, 2015

Sometimes Trouble Is OK

This quote had me nodding my head and also chuckling a bit. If writing proved to be a pure cinch every time we sat down at our computer or took pad and pencil in hand, would we get the thrill that we get when we struggle with a writing project that finally bears fruit? Doubtful.

If writing was so easy, wouldn't everyone give it a try? Possibly. Once in awhile, an idea comes to us for a story and it almost seems to write itself. Our fingers are on the keyboard but the words flow from who-knows-where? That does happen but not on an everyday basis.

Most of the time, we do struggle with what we write. It might be only one paragraph that gives trouble or one verse of a poem but we want to get it right. One poor section can taint the entire piece.

How many times can you rewrite one paragraph? Until it feels right to you! Whether that's twice or twenty, redo it until you are comfortable with it. Is this why some novelists say their book took 4 years (or more) to write? Maybe that's part of the reason.

We've discussed revising and re-editing many times so maybe it means there is something vital about doing so. Beginning writers all too often finsih a first draft and call it complete. It's a rare first draft that is ready for submission. Seasoned writers know that rewriting is key to publishing.  Even writers who can claim many publications have trouble writing in one respect or another.

I know a woman who writes wonderful prose but she struggles mightily with finding a title that sings, one that draws readers. Another writes wonderful essays but fails when she gets to the final paragraph or two. A good essay deserves, and needs, a good ending. Same with a fiction piece. An exciting story must stay exciting right to the final punctuation mark in the last paragraph. others have difficulty with opening hooks.

Trouble writing? We all experience it. Some of us have learned how to overcome the problems of various kinds. We work hard to end up with a finished piece of writing that is publishable and also satisfies us, the writer. Writing is hard but those who love it soldier on no matter how many problems they experience.

If you have trouble writing, remember that you're in good company. The vast majority of us are right there with you.

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