Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Reinventing the Wheel

This year, I realized something important. This is something I probably should have figured out a long time ago, but being remarkably unaware of my own creative processes, I figured out now instead.

Writing is freaking hard.

Sure, there are days where your fingers fly across the keys and words come streaming out of brain and onto page like ... like [vivid metaphor].* But those days come at the expense of months and years spent painstakingly picking a story out of ... out of ... yeah.

Daydreaming is easy. Everyone's mind is full of fantasies, and there isn't a writer I know who can't happily sit for hours just playing with the people in her head. But writing.

Writing is like reinventing the wheel. Every. Single. Day.

I used to get disheartened by this. I used to feel like if writing was hard, I was doing something wrong. And I do still believe that, to a certain extent.

Writing is doing something wrong over and over and OVER AGAIN until you figure out how to do it right.**

I have learned that if you wait until you can do something perfectly, you will never do anything at all. If you aren't prepared to do something horrifically, mind-bleedingly hard, nothing worthwhile will EVER seem easy. And when you feel like you can't, that is the time to decide that you can.

Sometimes, you just have to sit down and make the mistake.


*Clearly today is not one of those days.

**Not that I am advocating the perpetuation of bad habits. If you know you are doing something wrong, and you know WHAT IT IS, then you should fix it. My point is that you should not be writing unless you are prepared to make mistakes. Because art, like science, is a series of increasingly intelligent mistakes. (But hopefully with less explosions.)