What is the most difficult thing about writing

” A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”

Thomas Mann

A recent blog post by a fellow author concerning hitting the wall and having to go off and write another story got me to thinking about why that happens.  There are many theories about the topic.  Tonight I stumbled upon this Thomas Mann quote and made a connection.   The fact is, as an author you are conveying an image that is in your mind and the words have to be exactly what will convey it best to the reader.  I think the wall comes when we don’t allow our minds to be relaxed and to let the stories come as they will.  We stress too much about form, and about what others want.  We need to remind ourselves to do what the story wants.  What is the story?  Just tell it.  You can go back and refine, but get the bones of the story figured out.

Yes, now before you start to blast me.  I do agree you have to nurture the craft, and learn how to craft a story.  BUT… and this is a big word folks.  You have to have a good story before it even matters how you tell it. 

I am working on a series and find the most difficult part of plotting it all out is figuring out the timeline and where certain events fit into each story so that they overlap just so.  I want the reader to be able to go from book to book and say, “Ah ha” that is why she felt that way and that is why xyz didn’t bother her.”  The trouble is not the story.  At least not in this case.  I’ve allowed myself to live with these characters and I love them.  I am in love with them and I don’t want to tell anything but their story.  So it takes time.  There are other projects that can fill in if they want to have a vacation. 

Now, that I have said all of that, what makes me sound so wise… lol

It is easier said than done.  If you hit the wall.  You work while you wait.  I’ve heard many stories about the best seller that came when the writer was at a wall on the story they absolutely wanted to tell.  The other story just came to them, so I figure that letting yourself be a channel is the best way to be at peace with hitting the wall.  In due time, all of our stories will surface.  Some characters and stories, just like some people take time to mature.

In the meanwhile write what is coming through you.  It is of benefit to someone who has experienced what you write about, and if not.  You are surely to benefit, for having kept at it. 

I am learning so much from all the writers in my circle.  It means so much to hear from them that they encounter the same challenges as I do.  



One thought on “What is the most difficult thing about writing

  1. As a new author, I can relate to much of what you said. I’ve hit the wall many times and I’m learning how to get past it. I’ve learned to track the rhythms of my body and mind to maximize my creativity and energy levels. And I’ve recently learned to “go with the flow,” as you pointed out. Sometimes, my creativity just won’t cooperate with what I want it to do, so I’ve allowed to “chase another story” for a while. I’ll eventually use it…but if I don’t, it probably wasn’t a good idea anyway.

    Good post!

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