For a writer, reading is the equivalent of a carpenter keeping his tools sharp, a baker trying new ingredients, a computer specialist downloading new program updates. Reading isn’t an escape, it’s an education, it’s how we as writers continue to write.
Write drunk, edit sober. The reason for this is that writing is a hell of a lot easier than editing. You don’t need your wits about you to write. Writing is the easiest part of the whole process. You lay everything out on the table and then, later on, you can deal with all the issues.
Well, now it’s later on, and now I have to deal with the issues.
When you measure your type of writing against someone else’s and it doesn’t add up, well, you’re bound to feel inferior, and that inferiority manifests in the favorite of all phenomena, Imposter Syndrome.
They’re all right. Every single person who told you that writing was going to be full of obstacles and challenges and rejections, every single one of them is right. Writing is hard and you should be able to fall back on other skills, and yeah, you probably will be broke, at least for a while.
But the truth of it is, writing – the whole writing process – that’s the easiest part.
Every writer has their own style and approach to a story. Some research first, others outline and plan, and some dive right in with nothing more than a name and a vague idea for where their novel might end up. As you can probably guess, I’m not one of those people.
While there are a great many similarities between the tips for fiction and nonfiction writers block, I would say there are a great many differences too. Writing fiction employs a variety of skills that don’t necessarily overlap with those utilized for journalism or nonfiction. That does not mean it is easier or harder, simply different.
From the outside, writing doesn’t look too hard. After all, I spent eight to ten hours a day on my computer, doing the thing I love most in the world. What could be difficult about that? I get to research unique and interesting things, and tell the stories that I want to tell. It’s the dream job.
And it is the dream job, but it’s sure as hell not an easy one.
Despite the capacity to write a story on a dozen different devices and applications, I will always print my manuscripts.
The truth of the matter is that writing has become – or perhaps always been – an industry where working too hard, too much and too often is only the first step to success.