What’s the hardest part of writing?
Thanks for stopping by, everyone!
Oh. Maybe I should elaborate, huh?
Some people think the writing is the hard part. And yes, it can be difficult to put words on the page. Sometimes they don’t flow. Sometimes they just sit there and stare at you like you’re supposed to be tap dancing for them. It’s annoying, and yes, it is difficult, but that’s not the hardest part of writing.
Some people think coming up with ideas is the hard part. Sure, that can be difficult, too. At times I just sigh and say, “None of my ideas are original. It’s all been done before.” And you sit there like a lump because you’re convinced that nothing is worth writing.
Some people loath editing. You have to reread and reread and then read it again. Improve it every time. Should this person be the main character? Should you start here or there in the story? Does the conclusion really wrap everything up the way you want it to? Why is that platypus in the story at all?
And while all of those things take work, I think the hardest part of writing is the waiting.
I have a novel that will be released March 1, 2021. I’ve been waiting for months already, and I have more waiting to do. The ideas, the writing, the editing… all of that’s already done on my end. Now I’m just waiting around.
Several short stories have been accepted at various anthologies and magazines. I’m looking forward to announcing them! But for now, I’m just waiting for them to get to the point I’m able to announce them.
A bunch of short stories are out on submission at various publishers. Will they be accepted? Will they be rejected? Will they grow wings and shoot lasers out of their clauses? Got me. I gotta wait to find out.
And so I sit while other people work.
Now, to be clear, I’m not upset or even frustrated with the various publishers and editors. They work their butts off reading through slush piles, making decisions for what sets of stories will sell best, what stories work well together, what they haven’t seen a thousand shades of already, what isn’t so different it will throw the reader too hard. Yes, I’m waiting for them, but not because they’re lazy! I’m frustrated with waiting itself.
So, what can I do?
There’s two things writers can do while they wait:
First, they can read. Read novels. Read stories within their genre and outside of it. Fiction. Nonfiction. They can read up on markets so what they write is more likely to get bought. Read read read!
Second, they can write. You noticed how I said I have a number of stories on submission and a number of stories accepted? That’s only because I don’t wait around, focusing on just one story until someone buys it. Keep writing! The more stories you send out, the more likely one will be bought!
So yes. Waiting is frustrating, but it can be defeated. That still doesn’t mean I like it!
What’s the hardest part of writing for you?