How It Feels to Be a Writer

Imagine being a writer and having an amazing idea. You create an outline and characters and begin to write. Surprisingly, it’s easy. You find yourself writing pages at a time, the plans forming in your head. Then you hit a road block, and find yourself disliking the idea. You stop writing it for a few months, then go back to it with a different approach. That change works, and you write a new draft, with even more words and sore fingers and you get to the halfway point. And then you stop again.

You pick it up yet again with another idea. You write 10 pages and go back to the old version. You don’t look at the idea for an entire year. When you finally look at it again, you get something fresh in your head. You change around the whole plot, writing another full outline with a few different characters and some backspacing. You begin to write again. This time you write 30 pages. You’re stuck again. You have some help from others and you decide you’re going to try once more. You write 13 pages this time, and then you decide, “I’m not in love with this story anymore”.

That happened to me just this week. I had this same story idea for almost four years, and I have around twelve documents on my computer (even with its own folder) of the same story, with different versions. That doesn’t even include the multiple pages in various notebooks, with ideas scrawled inside. I had always loved the idea, because it tied music and friendship together, and the lead characters were semi-based off of my best friend and me. Just recently, I tried to redo it. I found myself constantly thinking of new ideas for it and I felt like I was actually going to finish it. And then I just stopped. I couldn’t write it anymore. After writing practically 200 versions, I was no longer in love with the story. And writers have this all the time.

I experience it frequently. Besides this one idea, I have maybe eight or so other ideas thought of. I start writing one, think I’ll finish it, and then halfway through my mind switches to something else and I ditch it and work on something else. Some of these ideas have been brewing since 2010. Sometimes I think, maybe I should just get rid of them and never look back, but then I realize that this story is meaningful and needs to be told. I don’t know what it is, but I have a mind full of words and not enough motivation to write them down.

Being a writer means you feel like a failure sometimes. You feel like you’re on top of the world with this one plot and you’re going to conquer life, and then you hit a brick wall and can’t continue. But many times, writers can pick themselves back up and throw their entire life into that brick wall to break it down. And they succeed.

Writers have emotions that go up and down constantly. You worry if your idea is going to sell. You worry if you’re going to like anything you actually write. People think writing is one of the easiest jobs because all you have to do it sit down and type out some words on a computer. In reality, it’s hard. It takes an emotional toll on you and you have to put your entire brain into working on this.

Being a writer is one of the most frustrating things in the world for me, but it’s all worth it and I wouldn’t change myself one bit.

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