Why is writing so notoriously difficult and painful? I was reading this article on how to make writing less hellish (spoiler: not helpful) and I found myself wondering why writing is so hellish in the first place. I am literally writing a blog right now to avoid writing something else, that’s how friggin’ hellish writing is. It’s not like I’m writing an academic paper on something I don’t care about, either. I’m interested in this article! It has good quotes and a cool angle. I just don’t want to write it, like at all. I realize this is an extremely first world problem, but it’s not one that only I suffer from.
I suspect writing is difficult because it’s all like, intellectual and stuff. It makes your brain hurt a little (sometimes a lot). There are so many factors to consider, to the tiniest sentence-level detail to the overarching message of the whole piece. Blegh. It’s a lot easier for me to write stuff after grad school—so many years of writing crap I didn’t care about at 2 a.m. inured me to the pain a bit—but it’s still like pulling teeth. Or plodding up a very steep mountain grade when the pollen count is high. Icky. It’s icky.
But seriously, writing requires you to pull ideas out of mostly thin air and make them into a cohesive, coherent whole. I’d actually love to see what areas of the human brain light up when you’re writing versus doing other kinds of work. I bet it’s pretty crazy. Because my entire body screams “don’t don’t don’t ow you’re hurting us owie owie owie we’re meeeellllltttttingggg” every time I try to do it, so it seems like it must be a bit of a strain.
I sometimes read advice that says “set self-imposed deadlines.” Pfft! Does that actually work for people? My brain can’t lie to itself. I know when shit’s for realsies due and my brain is not just going to let me forget that so I can finish my work like an adult instead of a college student. The very word “deadline” tells you how much pressure writers need to perform on a regular basis. SOMEONE OR SOMETHING WILL DIE IF YOU DON’T TURN THIS STORY IN. IT WILL DIE UNTIL IT IS DEAD.
DEATH. DEATH is the result if you don’t finish your work by this time. Now write, dammit!
Sometimes, it even works.
And yet you CHOSE this for a career
Well, I’m dumb.
Writer friends: What do you think? Why are writers so sad, so alcoholic, so awesome?