Understanding the Hardest Parts of the Writing Process

There are many apt words that describe the writing process:

Exhilarating. Thrilling. Intoxicating. Anxiety-inducing. Frustrating.

Writing can prove as discouraging as it is delightful.

The “King” of Horror himself, Stephen King, addresses such discouragement in his memoir, On Writing.

He reiterates a story about another author, James Joyce, in which Joyce’s friend came to visit him.

Joyce informs his friend he managed to write seven words that day.

The friend says, “That’s good, at least for you!”

Joyce replies, “Yes, I suppose it is….but I don’t know what order they go in!”

So you see: even the greats struggle to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard these days).

But never fear!  We’ve outlined the greatest struggles of the writing process and how to deal with them below:

Understanding the Difficulty of the Writing Process

The writing process is a bit like lifting the heavy weights at the gym.

You need to understand that, like lifting 100 pounds with one arm, writing takes discipline.

It is a long, hard road that will knock you down and will make you want to quit.

But if you want to succeed, you need to shrug off your defeats and keep working towards victory.

Understand what you’re getting yourself into and anticipate those inevitable defeats, and you will succeed.

Planning Your Book

Now that you’ve established you have the gumption to best discouragement and failure, you have a book to write!

There is no sure-fire way to plan a book.  You have to figure out what works for you.

Some people like to plan every little detail.  Some like to write by the seat of their pants.

Just don’t get hung up on details during that initial draft.  That’s when a lot of writers quit.

Use your initial draft to figure out what works and doesn’t work for your book.

Experiment and see what works!

Procrastination

There may be Seven Deadly Sins, but the deadliest one for every writer is procrastination.

With how busy life can get, it is easy to say one evening, “I’m tired.  I’ll write tomorrow.”

Then tomorrow comes, and you don’t write. The same happens the day after that, and then the day after that.

Make writing a habit. Make it a part of your daily routine.  Make it a part of your life.

Write every day, even if it’s only 50 words. Fifty words are better than no words.

Remember: the Tortoise didn’t win the race because he was slow. He won because he kept going.

Rejection

One of the most painful things you can experience is working hard on something only for it be rejected–repeatedly.

This will make you think you’re a horrible writer and not cut out for the craft.

Don’t let it.

When you feel the pang of rejection, remember J.K. Rowling, the ultra-successful writer of the Harry Potter series.

She was rejected numerous times before her first novel was published.

Now she’s one of the most successful authors in the world.

Self-Doubt

Without a doubt, wondering whether your writing is good enough is the worst part of the writing process.

It’s the worst because self-doubt comes from within.

But don’t doubt yourself.  Don’t doubt yourself for even a minute.

When you doubt yourself, your confidence falls apart.

You are talented. You are driven. You love the craft. You have something to say.

So take a chance on yourself and say it.