Why Is It So Difficult To Write?

ernest hemingway

Thomas Mann — ‘A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.’

Kurt Vonnegut — ‘When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth.’

I thing about this a lot and often wonder why I find writing so difficult, and the other thing I think of too much is ‘Am I even good at writing?’ Whenever I write something, once I’m done with it I know whether it’s decent or not. But when I know it’s decent, then the self doubt begins and I end up thinking it’s shit anyway. I’m not the best writer around by a mile (Or further), and I’ve seen some posts written by local bloggers and writers that have had me sitting with my jaw on the floor, realising that I will probably never come close to producing work that good.

Anyway, I’ve always loved to write of experience as opposed to rehashing news articles and adding my views in. Now this is where I’ve identified my problem…to fully experience a moment in your life, I’ve got to be completely immersed in it. And to write about it (For me anyway), while this moment is happening in life, I’ve got to look at it from a writing point of view, and what this often means is that I’m so busy thinking of how I’m going to write about something, that I forget to experience it right there in the moment. Then because I have failed to experience it fully, I can’t even begin to start writing it.

I basically have to go in, not think about writing about something, experience it fully and then try recall the memories at a later stage to write about it. The problem is, I hate the day so have to leave my writing until night time because I love the peace and quiet and the fact that the world has settled down and no one around me is bothering me. Then I start writing and…fall asleep. It’s an absolutely vicious cycle.

A further issue, when I do manage to get some writing out of me, it feels like the most painful experience ever. I write it, re-read it, leave it for a few days, hate it, love it, then publish it. Then people I know start saying how great it is, and then I don’t believe them because I think they’re telling me what I want to hear and they’re trying to keep me positive. And this creates even more turmoil for me, because I feel like friends are telling me things so as not to let me get depressed about my lack of writing skills.

Now at this stage I’m probably sounding like a complete crazy person, but these are my thoughts and this is how my writing works. And it will work like this forever. Now imagine yourself, as an accountant or something with I guess more of a formula than writing. Imagine that every thing you did in your accounting was the most painful, difficult experience ever even though you knew how to do it and have done it thousands of times before? Imagine that, every time you had to do some numbers.

Well that’s what it feels like to write. Every new piece is like trying to figure out how to write again. It’s like trying to figure out who you are and what your purpose is and do people even like you?

It’s weird and it’s scary and it makes you feel cold sometimes and you feel like a loser who knows nothing. And then you write something that people like and you see it getting shared and liked on social networks and for a short time, there’s a spark full of happiness that explodes into a fireball inside of you. You feel alive and you feel like there are endless possibilities in the world and that one day you will be an awesome person.

And then that piece of work filters down into the depths of the internet, and you’re forced to create something like it again. Something like it, only better and more powerful. You start doubting yourself all over again, you start to hate your writing and wonder if everyone is lying to you about how good your writing is and yet amongst all of these emotions, you are forced to create something better.

Welcome to the vicious cycle of writing.

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