Monday, January 10, 2011

Writing is Hard

Well, duh, you say. Or else everyone would have a best-seller. Or then, maybe no one would, because there'd be no exceptional books to stand out from the rest. It's a good thing. But it's draining as a writer.

Sometimes, stories or scenes spill from my fingers through the magic of my keyboard like a full-fledged concerto, composed by a brilliant composer (not so brilliant in my case), but other times the words just get stuck. Plot holes develop with bottomless pits that I can't escape.

I get a (what I think is) brilliant idea for a plot development, only to realize that it just won't work with the current characters' back story or how I want the ending to play out. So, I keep re-thinking, re-writing, re-drafting, jotting indecipherable notes in my notebook in front of me, scratching most of those out when I realize they won't work either.

It's enough to make me want to take a nap. But then I can't, because I have three kids, and they have to be fed at least every other day. (That was a joke.)

The point is, well, writing is hard. It's fun, it's rewarding, it's my therapy, but when it gets down to it, it's work. Let me clarify. Writing something others actually want to read is work. Is it worth it? Only the writer can be the judge of that. If you think only in terms of income, probably not, since very few of us can actually make our living from writing (at least where fiction is concerned). From the aspect of accomplishing a huge task forged from our own imagination and hours of research, planning, and editing, something we can look back at and say, "Yeah, I did that," then yes, it is worth it.

What makes writing worthwhile for you?


  1. Even if one other person reads something I've written and totally gets it, that's awesome. There's nothing quite like making that connection with someone.

  2. I am right there with you. Having finished the first draft tonight, I am looking back and finding all of the gaping plot holes that I left like footprints stomping their way through the story.

    Yet at the end of it all, the work is worth it. As Jean says, making that connection to someone else is a high like no other. I count myself blessed that I can claim that connection with five people so far, just on my first draft!


  3. Yep, it's you, the readers, who make it worthwhile. In my sadistic mind, I've put you on a rollercoaster, and now I want to make you scream. Yikes, that's creepy! But true. I love seeing people's reactions to all the bends, curves, and flips in the story.

    It's also my characters. I love to get to know them as the story progresses and throw things at them just to see how they'll react.

  4. I applaud what you do (having 3 kids) because when I get like that I literally "deflate" and sulk for a long time. My H is the only one who suffers from that (poor thing). But then when I do get some writing done, either a many months editing or a short story, he is the first with whom I share the victory with and it feels AWESOME. The feel of accomplishment makes writing so worth it in my opinion.

  5. I agree. That connection with someone who gets it is such a great feeling, not someone who just says, "That was nice," but really connects to a character or scene(s) on an emotional level. I love to get reactions as people read too. Some of my characters have gotten good tongue lashings for their stupid actions.

  6. The one thing that keeps me writing is the thought that the nagging concept/thought trapped inside my mind will never be exorcised unless I write it.

    I once told a friend I had asked to read through the first draft of my now published sci-fi novel that to read it was to take a trip through my mind.

    If a shrink read our first drafts, would he/she have a strong desire to section us - probably.

    Most story lines have elements within them that, if they were actual rather than fictional, would greatly disturb the public.

    Never give up your writing Mysti... :)

  7. Thanks Jack! I understand--you just have to get the story out or it feels like your head will explode. That's why I named this blog "Unwritten", for all the crazy characters running around in my head. By the way, your novel is coming up soon on my reading list :)

  8. Forgot to answer your query regarding "Legacy of Butterflies" by David Toft. Yes it is part of a series. It is the second - the first is "A Gift of Butterflies". :)

  9. I write to capture my dreams on paper. I want to save them for later.

    The editing and all the rest is because I want to share the stories I love with everyone else.

    I write for fun, not for money. It's a completely selfish endeavor, something that benefits me more than anyone else. It keeps me sane, and happy. Those are always good things.


  10. Amen! My family would vouch for that :)


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