Writing Is Hard

I AM trying to think of something to write but I can’t think of anything. Man, writing is hard.

I think it was Ernest Hemmingway who wrote; “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Man, that sounds lovely, doesn’t it? It’s so poetic and romantic. Although great writers like Ernest Hemmingway have no problem coming up with something interesting to write about, I, on the other hand, am no Hemmingway.

For me, writing is like sitting down in front of the notepad and trying not to slit my wrist because the words just won’t come out. And when they do come out, I find myself constantly erasing and rewriting. Dramatic? maybe. But accurate, yes! Writing is not as poetic and as romantic as Ernest Hemmingway makes it out to be. Writing is work.

Sometimes writers write because they want to or other times they write because they have to. But for any writer on that spectrum to suggest that writing is like a romantic journey, where there is no mechanics involved whatsoever, is straight up insane.

A writer is constantly writing and rewriting. They are never satisfied with their work, they’re constantly, to quote Malcolm Gladwell, “….always in a constant state of revision.” And it is there, in that state of constant revision, that writing no longer becomes enigmatic or romantic.

Producing something of great value out of that state of constant revision requires structure, discipline, and mechanics. In other words, and unlike Hemmingway’s statement, there is, in fact, something to writing.

A truer representation of what the writing process is actually like was captured by Mark Twain, when he wrote; “Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.” What Mark Twain was essentially acknowledging, is that the actual act of sitting down to write is not difficult. But it’s that constant state of revision that makes the journey of writing less poetic or romantic.

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