During a recent long car trip out of state with my fiance, I sat in the passenger seat typing away on my Chromebook, sighing here, laughing there, oohing and aahing at other points. I shared with Kyle the deadlines I had to meet the day after we would return back home, and he made a thought-provoking comment:
“At least writing isn’t hard.”
Since he was driving, I refrained from smacking him over the head with my Chromebook. Then he added…
“I mean, it’s not like you’re trying to solve a math problem and you can’t figure it out. Writing is easy. You know what you want to say, you just have to find the way to say it.”
You know what you want to say, you just have to find the way to say it.
Put that way, it sounds so simple…doesn’t it?
The act of writing out what you want to say is indeed simple. It’s everything we throw on top of the word mess to make it poetic and meaningful that is essentially the hard part. Structure, style, effectiveness, originality, authenticity–we must dress our writing up with all of these qualities to make it stand out. When you’re struck with fear of criticism and judgment, this part of writing is especially hard. If you can push past the fear and show your personality when applying these elements, you’ll find writing to be fun again.
I find that some articles are harder to write than others. Some topics don’t come as naturally to me and make me question my writing abilities. But usually, believing and telling yourself that the topic is hard is what makes the writing process such a challenge. I know how to write…we all do. We practice, we learn, we develop, and our work reflects that experience. To make a difficult topic seem easier:
- Study the topic.
- Write out what you want to say about it in simple terms.
- Go back and make it pretty.
It really is that simple when you have the right mindset.
Putting pen to paper and making sentences appear is not hard. Sometimes the hardest part is permitting your hand to move in the first place, allowing yourself to freely bleed the vision in your head and paint the picture.
When writing is hard, when you can’t find the perfect word, when you’re afraid of cutting your story to meet requirements and word counts, when your main point disappears into a roundabout tangent, when you think you’ve lost all hope and can’t find your way to make the article work, take this into account: At least you’re not solving a math problem.