Do you ever find yourself asking why is writing so hard?
When people picture the working process of a writer, they often picture a carefree, fun, and creative situation.
Perhaps that’s how you imagined being a writer would be. Often, our earliest experiences with writing lead to us discovering we enjoy writing or have a talent for it in a way that isn’t the case for other creative pursuits.
Often, this discovery of something we love to do leads us to imagine that it will be easy and enjoyable. Yet, when we begin our writing life, the process of sitting down and getting words onto the page ends up being harder than expected.
Finding writing hard isn’t a reason to stop. Writing is something the world needs and it changes lives for the better.
Instead of focusing on the fact that writing is and can be hard, it’s better to focus on the solution. Here are some of the main reasons you find writing hard and what to do about it.
You need motivation
Often, the experience of finding writing hard stems from not having the proper motivation to sit down and get it done.
For a lot of writers, wanting to write is part of their identity and something they truly believe. Perhaps that’s the case for you. But have you ever taken the time to go deeper and explore where that motivation comes from?
Making progress with your writing, and feeling committed to seeing it through to completion, is a lot easier when you have a clear and powerful reason for wanting to write.
Only you know what that reason is.
Perhaps you enjoy the activity of writing more than almost anything else out there. If that’s the case, you can always justify taking the time to write. Remind yourself that even though it’s difficult at times, deciding to write is deciding to do the thing you enjoy the most.
Or maybe writing goes beyond enjoyment for you. It might even feel like a compulsion. You might find writing to be your best form of self-expression and a way of making sense of the world around you.
You can also think in terms of what your writing brings to the world. As well as being something you love doing, think about how it helps people. Whether that’s by showing other writers that it’s possible to succeed at something you dream about, or giving readers the enjoyment of your work, the impact of your writing goes beyond yourself.
Having a clear understanding of the deeper motivation behind your writing is one of the best ways to maintain your drive. When you feel writing is particularly hard, focus on the reason you do it. Let that focus reinspire you to keep going.
You’re overthinking instead of writing
Sometimes, writing is hard because of the way we think and the story we tell ourselves about our work.
One of the major manifestations of this problem is judging instead of creating. Think back to a time when your writing flowed and you were able to make progress without feeling too negative or stuck. You weren’t stuck in your head or thinking critically about your efforts.
To avoid letting negative thoughts and judgment interrupt your writing, it’s important to be vigilant about the problem, so you can stop it in its tracks. As soon as you start to find yourself thinking about how hard writing is, stop. Focus on breathing. Focus on anything but your thought process. Remove that negative mental chatter and then return to the creative process itself.
Losing a sense of perspective can also be a major mental cause of finding writing difficult. This can take different forms. One is when you put too much importance on your writing. It’s easy to slip into this state of mind when following a solitary creative pursuit. When you lose sight of the world around you, and writing becomes your be-all and end-all, the level of mental pressure you experience is often difficult to cope with.
If you feel like your challenges with writing are down to an unhealthy focus on its importance, permit yourself to regain perspective. Take some time to do something purely for pleasure unrelated to writing. This will often refresh your mentality and give you the energy you need to write successfully again.
Another effective remedy is to stop focusing on the fact that you’re finding writing hard and instead offer some time and attention to others. When we move our focus away from our own challenges and instead seek to help others, we often end up regaining the cognitive calm and emotional state needed to write well.
You need to adjust your writing approach
Finding writing hard is often down to a lack of motivation or a suboptimal state of mind. But not always. The practical approach we take to writing can often make it a lot easier.
Many different practical factors impact the way we write. Taking the time to find the best mix for you is worthwhile and a good way to focus on solving your difficulty with writing rather than wallowing in it.
One aspect to experiment with is the time of day when you write. Sometimes, it’s a case of squeezing in a writing session whenever your schedule allows. However, if you have the freedom to write at different times, it’s worth experimenting to find the time when your writing flows most easily.
If you’ve always written at a particular time, it may be the case that you’ve found your ideal time by default. But what if you haven’t? You’ll never know if there’s a better time to write until you experiment. Sometimes the novelty of writing at a different time of day or night is also enough to give your brain a boost and make writing easier again.
As well as the time of day, think about experimenting with both the location you write in and the tool you use. Some writers find writing easier in a solitary environment no matter what. Others need the stimulation of a busy environment such as a cafe to stay stimulated and focused. Finding your optimal writing location can make writing easier and more enjoyable.
Writing apps are great, but when was the last time you tried to write by hand? If you’re finding it difficult to make progress, try writing using a comfortable pen and a notepad. Changing the physical way you write often lessens the frustration you’re feeling.
Finally, the way you fuel your mind and body plays a big part in making your writing life easier. Eating in a way that energizes you and staying hydrated can make a big difference. Plenty of writers consume coffee like the world’s about to run out of it, but drinking water as well can really help.
Nothing worthwhile is easy
One final thought is the idea that writing shouldn’t always feel easy. The times when it does, and the words flow freely, are amazing and to be embraced.
Nothing worth doing is totally free from difficulty. By experiencing the challenge of writing, and pushing through the times when it’s tough, you grow both as a writer and a person.
By all means, take the time to find ways to make your writing life easier. But, no matter what, don’t give up. Keep going. You have a unique contribution to make as a writer and you should never lose sight of that.