And what makes me want to keep doing it?
These questions come up often in writing workshops: why is it so hard to finish a book I want to write-why do I lose enthusiasm about a fourth of the way into my book-what can I do to make this process more fun/easier?
I have boiled it down to this one thing:
WHY IS WRITING SO STRESSFUL?
How do I do that with so many questions? Easy. We are simply stressing about writing the book, finishing the book, or publishing/submitting the book, and for those indie published, promoting/selling the book. That’s basically it.
If you break these items down into their own categories, then you will have to separate each one into its own world. Like, writing the book: how to make this process more interesting/fun…editing the book: how to get the job done without ditching the whole thing…publishing: the final frontier.
BREAK IT DOWN
- Writing the book – This unto itself could fill a whole year’s worth of blog posts, and you can certainly find plenty about it within this blog and online in many other places, but in a nutshell, writing a whole novel is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of dedication and enthusiasm to go from page one to page 375 or so. You have to really like the written word and be willing to see an idea grow legs. And you should also know when an idea won’t go the full mile. Sometimes we are not writing the right book. Making it a fun and interesting endeavor requires creativity and patience. You can do this!
- Editing the book – There are more ways to edit than stars in the heavens, but that shouldn’t keep you from trying to do as much as you can yourself. I even asked an agent if it was better to get it done yourself or hire someone, and her answer was to do the best job you can and then decide if you need one. I have always done the best job myself and with the help that I could get from writer buddies, then hired an editor to take over for me. Always worth the money and the best possible way to keep you from throwing the book into the recycle bin.
- Now onto publishing... you either will do it all yourself, with help from others, or send it off to a publisher who will take on many hats in your stead. That’s about it. No matter how you cut it, there are pros and cons to all of the above. Namely, loss of control over the book’s look and feel, or the lack of ability to properly reach a readership. Only you can decide which is best for you. After you publish, the other stressful situation is trying to get it to market. Think I will save that for later.
IS WRITING WORTH THE STRESS?
Writing IS stressful. It just is. You can lessen it from being terrible by trying to relax and enjoy the process. Blogging helps me to get these damning thoughts out of my head so I can sit down and let the words flow. If you do not blog, then journal. I do that too. Some writers give up due to the stress of it. I have even taken long breaks away. That helps in a way also. But whatever you do, don’t quit. Quitting means you will never achieve your dream.