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Writing Is…

What is writing?

Writing is HARD.

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There’s the idea brainstorming and the planning. Creating characters, places, settings, sometimes languages, lore, background stories, creatures. You have to identify each character’s relationship, goals, and roles. We make lists, profiles, author bios, blog posts, social media accounts, and outlines. We have to keep ideas flowing constantly. We have to work on the project itself while also keeping potential readers’ interest alive while they wait for the main event. Every day, we get our characters into horrible, dangerous, sticky situations then have to work them back out – while keeping the characters’ reactions believable, their actions true to character, and their means of escape plausible. We handwrite, we type, we research weird junk, we jot notes down, we read, we study other authors, we give advice and take advice from each other, we annotate, all so that the next time we plant our hands on the keyboard, what comes out is better than what came out the day before. And to top it all off, we are often our own worst critic which means criticism can pop up at literally any time and any place. Writing is hard.

Writing is infuriating.

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Constant planning and re-structuring. Trying to always bring your best to the keyboard. Plotting things out just-so. Then you find a mistake, or a plot hole, or maybe someone you talked to today is being a jerk and keeps referring to your book as you “so-called” career. Details keep a writer afloat but they can also cause us to feel a rage unlike any other. You’re going along smoothly and suddenly realize you’re done something out of character and have to rewrite an entire chapter. Or you confused your antagonist with your villain AGAIN. Or people on your media account just totally dissed that sample chapter that they were BEGGING you for a few days ago. Or you just can’t properly express the scene the way you want to. This stuff happens to us ALL the time. And what do we do? We go on. Be it good, bad, or hide-under-the-bed horrible work, we go on. Because we believe in this book, even if it’s driving us insane right now.

Writing is confusing.

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I can’t get my scenes to blend. My chapter titles sound goofy or weak. How the heck do I write my own interview questions, and what do I put in my author bio? How does Twitter work? What hashtags should I use on Instagram? Why did my followers love one post and ignore another? I feel like I’ve written this character totally wrong. Should I start promoting my book now, get an editor before the book is final, or design my own cover? Amazon, Lulu, Smashwords? And what goes in an author bio? If I was good at talking about myself, why do I make people up? I’m so confused!

Writing is tiring.

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Show of hands: who here is a writer who has never experienced fatigue, exhaustion, crabbiness, or insomnia as a result of keeping up with writing goals? If you raised your hand, you’re probably a newbie writer. Or maybe you’re just more sane than most of us. I do most of my writing at night and I have a “real life” during the day that consists of family stuff, running a farm, and two part-time jobs, plus being a friend and right now being a bridesmaid. But I have a plan to self publish next year. So I write until the pen drops. Then I type what I wrote. And I make blog posts, keep up a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and I network with other writers. I’m also the editor and ads manager for my best friend’s candle business. All the stuff writers do make us tired, weak, cranky, they make us consume way too much caffeine, stay up too late, get too little sleep, and makes us want to spend weekends alone, like hermits tucked into their shells because we just can’t take another waking, writing hour.

Writing is all-consuming.

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Time. Sleep. TV. Movie night. Friends. Girls’ weekend. Parties. Healthy food. Me-time. Hygiene. Vacations. Social interaction. Writing sucks all that away. Time goes super fast. Sleep happens whenever. TV? Is Rachel with Ross yet? Movie premiere, was that today? Friends – I think I have one named Dave. Girls’ weekend – we’ll pass out by 9. Parties – BYOL (bring your own laptop, so you can write and eat cheese puffs) Cheese puffs are healthy, because cheese is dairy. ME-time? Haha! I think I showered…Tuesday. Vacations are just an opportunity to write an accurate beach scene. Facebook IS “social” media. We write, we think about writing, we dream up scenes, we lose sleep and miss meals to write, we have friends drag us away from writing. When we don’t write, we get anxious about not writing.

Writing is daunting.

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Plotting. Outlining. Writing. Edits. Beta readers. Edits. Proofreading. Restructuring. chapter titles. book titles. Edits. Author platform. Social media. Marketing. Self publishing. Sale platforms. Reviews. Book art. Layout design. Book forms. Prices. Taxes. Copyright. Author rights. Launch parties. Talking to people. Promoting. Writing. Edits. Author bio. Media kit. Interview questions. Photos. Balancing life and writing and promotions and life. Business cards. Writing. Blog posts. Critics. Doubters. Haters. Jerks. Self-motivation. the list goes on. It’s daunting and stressful as hell.

Writing is lonely.

People who don’t write simply don’t understand us: they don’t understand why we want to write, how we’ll survive, why we’re so stubborn and blind to the facts, why we don’t have a “real job”, or where we “get off” not being better at social situations. Even the people who support us don’t comprehend the long hours, the struggle to create, the desire to show ourselves in our work.

All this said, what is writing?
Writing is:
Life
Air
Our way of life
Our dreams
Our voice for the voiceless
A new view for the world
Inspiration
Education
Connections
Love
Hope
Power
Change

Everything to us.

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