The Hardest Things About Writing

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Writing is my biggest passion in life—something I can do all day, everyday—but there are a few things about the hobby that I find extremely difficult to manage. I’m sure many other writers feel this way and struggle to find their own solutions to these types of problems too. Since I am currently working on writing and publishing a collection of flash fiction, I thought it could be useful to myself and others if I talk through the process and allow myself to face certain insecurities and issues I have in the hopes that I’ll figure out what works best for me and avoid making the same mistakes over and over again. Here are a few of the hardest things about writing for me:

Not Having Enough Time

Balancing work time and writing time is a hard one for me, even though I work as a writer. It’s hard because I can’t quite shut off my work mind and dive into my personal writing without feeling incredibly exhausted after finishing client work. I find that I typically need a buffer of time between the two so that I can immerse myself in my fiction writing, however, that doesn’t leave me with a lot of time throughout the day. Most of the time my mind is too exhausted to think up an interesting and engaging short story, which makes me put off working on my book for even longer until I feel incredibly guilty for not putting in the time I wanted to.

And then there’s trying to balance a social life alongside work and personal writing. Ideally, at some point in the future, my personal writing will become my main source of income so it will be easier to focus on it, but as of now I feel as though I’m mentally and physically all over the place. When I’m not working I feel guilty if I’m not working on my book or going out and exploring the city or doing some other kind of cultural activity. It can be quite exhausting and will typically lead to me doing absolutely nothing as a coping mechanism.

Struggling With Ideas

Apart from having enough time, I also struggle with not having enough ideas for my writing. Sure, I primarily enjoy writing fiction which means I literally make up stories in my head, but those stories and characters aren’t always quick to arise in the forefront of my imagination. There are days where I really want to sit down and get out a few short stories, but have no idea who or what I want to write about. My fingers dangle loosely over my keyboard and the only think I can think about is what I’m going to have for lunch or dinner. Strangely enough, I have more ideas for blog posts even though I produce those way more often and are based in reality. I never seem to run out of topics to discuss on this platform, but when it comes to delving into world of my own making, I often struggle.

Not Being Able To Complete It

For some inexplicable reason, I find it difficult to finish projects I start. This could be because I think it’s not as good as I hoped it would be or that I’m not quite feeling what I’ve written and don’t really want to go on with it out of necessity rather than passion. Either way, this is a big challenge for me because in order to be a writer, you actually have to write, and to be a published writer, you actually have to finish a piece of work. Many writers often talk about writer’s block, but I don’t usually hear about the inability to continue with a piece even though you have ideas bouncing around in your head. I’m beginning to think that it’s more a way to self-sabotage than anything else and is something I am trying to push through the more I focus on my end goal with the current book I’m working on and with those I will be working on in the future.

Sharing Your Work With Others

This one has always been really hard for me, but I can honestly say that having a blog has really helped in feeling a bit more confident in sharing my thoughts with others. To me, my writing is so personal so it’s pretty scary to put my work out there to be scrutinized or rejected. It feels like a personal attack rather than a professional one and it’s something I struggle with constantly. Logically, I know that my writing isn’t perfect, nor will it ever be, and that rejection is more common than not with even the most prolific writers out there. But, even then, the fear of sharing a piece of my soul with people who might not get it sometimes outweighs the satisfaction of seeing my name in print in a magazine or on the spine of a book.