Writing is hard. Scrap that, writing is fucking hard. Here I am pushing my late thirties up the proverbial career hill, with a few self-publishing writing credits to my name, and still I struggle to write, when undoubtedly it’s all I want to do. Why is that?
I can’t help but think that in addition to working through the process of plotting a novel, understanding your characters, their intentions and fears not to mention the small little things that help you paint a picture, I am finding myself having to deal with all this doubt. Is it worth all this bullshit?
Any writer will tell you that despite its difficulty, if writing is your thing then writing is your thing. I don’t propose to be a fantastic writer – in fact I am constantly confronted by the Pacific Ocean sized gap in the quality of my writing the writing of others I immerse myself in.
An essential in becoming a good writer, is to learn how the whole thing works. How do others structure their chapters, describe their characters and ultimately take you on a journey that’s worth the time it takes to get through a 400 page novel, or sit through a two and half hour movie.
And that’s it right there; the learning is the hard part. When you see the distance that after so many years doesn’t seem to be getting any closer, you can’t help but wonder if all the time you spend thinking, planning, dreaming and actually writing is worth it? Can I finish the first draft of a novel? Will it ever get published? Am I good enough to capture people’s attention? Will a publisher read the order of my words and be willing to put an actual dollar figure to it? Is my writing worth anything more than the time I put into it? If I do get published, can I make a living from it? What actually makes me different?
All these questions, on some level haunt me every day. Every act I take towards my dream of writing, in some way, is the bravest thing I can do. It’s the greatest act of bravery that I can portray in my life – however seemingly hopeless sometimes.
I can’t help but be drawn by ideas, moments, and memories that spark reasons for me to write. Like right now, as I write this a song leaks through from my headphones into my conscious – a song from an album that played every Monday night for six weeks when I would drive to a house where I would see her only on Monday nights and we would drink gin and fuck all the way through the album. Until eventually our Monday night casual encounters no matter how passionate, eventually did what they always do…end.
No matter how many years pass, when I hear that song, I can still taste that gin and feel her.
So, what’s to do but write then?