Tuesday Toss-Up

What’s the Hardest Part of Writing?

Literary cat by SuziJane (Suzi Duke) on Flickr
“It was a dark and stormy night….” Yeah, that’s the stuff. This is gonna be a best-seller for sure.

Recently, I’ve come across a few discussions that touch on, in one way or another, the hardest part of writing.

So what is the hardest part of writing?

Well now, that varies from writer to writer.

For me, the hardest part of writing is the actual writing. Allow me to explain…

When an idea really gets its teeth into me, I burn up the page, writing notes and scenes as fast as I can get them out.

In my die-hard pantser days, this was a haphazard process. I wrote the story until I got stuck or had ideas I couldn’t use yet, then switched to taking notes about plot, character, setting etc.

Now that I’m (mostly) a plotter, I try to work out the story in short form/outline before I start the bulk of the story. Sometimes, I just have to write a scene before I’m done with the outline (or my head will explode…you know how it goes).

So it sounds like I shouldn’t have any problem with the story writing stuff. After all, I’m a writer. The actual writing should be the easy part, right?

Wrong.

Even when I was attempting to pants my way through a novel, I often fled to the “safety” of my notes. I used them to think my way around snarls in the story line, work out character motivations, plan future plot  twists and so on. Whenever I felt stuck in the story, I’d talk myself through it in my notes. Which is exactly what I do now.

Problem is, sometimes I keep right on taking notes, even detailing scenes I’ll write, instead of actually writing the scenes.

As I near the end of my novel-in-progress, I find myself spending more and more time writing about what I will write about. While this is probably more productive, writing wise, than catching up on Fringe, it still doesn’t get me to “The End.”

The obvious solution is just to make myself write, embrace the Crappy First Draft with NaNoWriMoesque abandon.

But first I think I might have to make a few notes…

What’s the hardest part about writing for you? How do you get around it?

Photo Credit:
Literary cat by SuziJane (Suzi Duke) on Flickr Image  CC BY-SA 2.0

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11 thoughts on “What’s the Hardest Part of Writing?

  1. Like you, I often write the scenes that are visually embedded in my head, usually the main scenes or pivitol parts of the story, first. Then I’ll try to connect the peices together… My hardest part quite often is finishing the story. I know where I want it to be at the end but If I don’t have a specific place I want it published or a time frame, stories will often linger in limbo until I’m motivated to finish.

      1. I agree When I had my deadline for my first novel to get finished revising on time really helped me a lot. It does create some pressure but I like it as well. Also makes it seem more real to me.

  2. @Emma: Seems counter intuitive for a writer though, doesn’t it? LOL

    @Bo: Yeah, I struggle with that sometimes too. I have to keep several timelines…and remember to look at them, of course. 😀

    @Jess: I keep forgetting where I put it…like my cell phone. LOL

    @David: I’m looking forward to getting to the editing stage but I can definitely imagine it being challenging for me too.

  3. The hardest part for me so far is when I have a hard time mentally connecting to something I really want to either start writing or add to my story. I don’t particularly love taking notes but it is what it is. I love sitting down and just writing and letting it pour out of me when it does. Rather exciting. 🙂

  4. Finishing is always the most difficult part for me. I start a lot of projects, but hit a wall and move on. When I finally gain the wherewithal to come back to it I often feel like my tone has shifted and the piece feels disjointed. Although with practice and editing I’ve been able to finish quite a few pieces the past couple of years.

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