The Worst Part of Writing

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

What do people dislike most about writing? I read posts on social media sometimes about what writers find frustrating when it comes to writing. These are some of the common complaints:

· Editing or Rewriting

· Having to work full time and not having the energy to write at the end of the day.

· Not seeing the big picture and finding that you’ve written yourself into a mess

· Writing in the POV of a different gender, someone of a different culture, or children.

· Writer’s Block

Editing or Rewriting

Writing is the fun part. Those of us who enjoy writing love it because it’s the creative part of the process. We love to create characters and drop them into situations to watch them work themselves out of trouble. We love to pour our creativity into the story and play with words.

Editing and rewriting is different. This is work. This is where we have to admit that everything we wrote is not brilliant. No one likes that. Editing and rewriting is not my favorite part either, but I don’t hate it. I like making my story better, stronger, and more interesting for the reader.

I don’t know if there is a way to help someone like editing if he or she hates it, but I can offer my perspective that the editing process is not any less creative. It takes a lot of thought and creativity to work with plot and dialogue and sentence structure to take a scene or paragraph from something boring or cliched and make it sparkle.

Being Tired After Work

This is definitely a challenge. I’d say that it doesn’t really have anything to do with writing. But I do understand that coming to a writing session when one is already exhausted can make the writing process not as fun or even make it feel like a chore.

A possible solution or suggesting for this would be to try to write before work. Even if that means getting up a little earlier. I don’t have a problem writing at night and usually that is when I write (I’m writing at night now). Once I know that all my work obligations are done, my mind can relax and focus on writing. But others might need to write first thing in the morning.

Failing To See The Big Picture

Yes, it’s easy to write yourself into a mess if you don’t have a clear idea of where the story is going. Plotting ahead of time helps a lot with this. But maybe you’re not a plotter. I’m not either. I don’t enjoy plotting. This is probably what I dislike most about writing. But plotting the basic structure and character journey is important.

The writer has to know where the character is starting from, where he needs to go to grow and transform, and what are some of the obstacles that are going to stand in this character’s way. This calls for understanding the character well.

When a writer tells me that he or she wrote themselves into a corner, it means that the didn’t understand the character will. The character did something that he or she shouldn’t have. Or, alternatively, the writer did not set up key moments in the story where the character was going to get closer to his goal or further away. When the character fails, why? The writer has to plan for this and know that the character failed because if his or her flaws.

Writing in a Different POV Than Your Own

Yes, this is a challenge. And this requires a bit of homework and observation. If I want to write from the point of view of a 16-year-old football player, I need to spend some time watching and listening to a 16 year old football player. Or, I’d better have one read my writing and tell me if the character feels real, speaks appropriately, etc.

I find that writers can’t fake this. To make our characters feel realistic, we have to become those characters as much as possible, and we will get closer to having that character’s voice, if we do the research and spend sometime with real people who are like our character.

Writer’s Block

What is this? Is it not knowing what to write? With novels, I again believe writer’s block can come from not understanding the main character’s journey. Knowing where the character is headed is tremendously important because it helps writers know the steps the character needs to take to get there, and what roadblocks will keep the character from getting there.

For Non-fiction, for example writing blogs, this is more of a real problem. It calls more for understanding the reader and what the reader wants and needs. I often ask myself what does my reader need to know about writing. What did I need to know when I was a beginning writer? I don’t always have an immediate answer. But when I dig deep the answer comes to me.

Sometimes, I believe writer’s block means that the writer needs more time for rumination. A cluttered mind will have difficulty relaxing the mind enough to allow thoughts to flow.

Clearing the mind with a walk or meditation or something repetitive and methodical, even watering the plants in the garden, will sometimes allow us to relax enough to clear our mind and think of the next writing step.

We all have our favorite and least favorite part of writing. But it can all be fun even if some parts can be more challenging. The key to enjoying even the challenging parts is to figure out why we don’t like it and making that part less challenging. Sometimes that means going back to the basics and doing a little plotting. Other times it can mean doing more research. And other times it can also mean changing our mindset.

Have a story to tell? Want to learn how to record personal experiences before they’re lost? Sign up for Julia Amante’s beginning writing course.

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