Thinking About Writing
I don't remember when I decided I wanted to become a writer. I do remember having a brief stint as a child where I felt certain I was being called to the life of an FBI agent, but that didn't last long. I have handwritten (awful) stories in notebooks that I can date back to before middle school, so I think it's safe to say I've wanted to be a writer for awhile. I usually tell people I've always wanted to be a writer, because in some way, shape, or form, I think that's true.
We commend people for doing hard things all the time, especially things we think we never could, or never would, do. People who worked their way up the top of the corporate ladder, or trained for years to reach the Olympics, or anyone who gave a significant amount of effort to reach their goal are applauded. I always knew the being an athlete, a CEO, or any number of other jobs would be incredibly difficult in order to succeed. Nobody really talked about how hard writing was.
To be fair, plenty of people told me how hard it would be to succeed as a writer. Numerous family members, friends of the family, friends of mine, and even strangers were first in line to tell me how unlikely my chances of success were. That was all right, if a tad discouraging, just because I'm the type of person to want to prove them wrong and succeed anyway. Still, in all of that, nobody told me how hard writing is.
Writing requires imagination, focus, diligence, dedication, time, study, patience, and a myriad of other virtues. Writing is hard. However, one thing I did discover even as I learned about the true nature of writing is that the level of difficulty doesn't matter if you have passion. I didn't give writing a shot and decide to give up because it was too much effort. Sometimes I may take breaks that are longer than advised due to frustration or weariness, but I've never given up on writing. I don't enjoy doing things that are hard and suck away all my time, but I do enjoy writing, so it doesn't matter.
Now, to be fair, I don't enjoy all writing. I'm a creative writer by trade, so I'll always be more interested in the fiction world than anything nonfiction. I work as a freelance writer and editor, and the effort that's required for some of those jobs is far more draining than any work I've ever done on my own stories. People are constantly looking to hire ghostwriters on the freelance websites I use because writing is hard. They want a story out there, but they want to pay someone else to do it. Usually not enough for the amount of effort, which more than anything shows how writing is valued, or rather, undervalued in the marketplace.
I love writing. I don't plan to stop writing. I don't know if I'll ever be successful at writing. What I do know, is that anything you have a passion for is worth working hard at, even if it's hard. Writing is hard, but I'm not planning to give up on it any time soon.