Monday, December 19, 2022

The Gift of Writing: The Many Reasons to Keep Going When Writing is Hard -- by Rachel

I write for the joy of it. Why else would I spend hours trying to carve out writing time around a busy life? But if we’re being honest, writing is the most demanding job I’ve ever done. So, when the day’s plot proves elusive or comes out flat and colorless, I begin to question myself. Should I give my time to a more straightforward pursuit, or you know, just breathe, instead of struggling with my unruly imagination?

Because those kinds of questions rear their heads so often, and because I got tired of wrestling with my mammoth self-doubt, I came up with several pages of why writing is a gift (which it is, even when I’m wrestling with my squirming first draft). This list has been my go-to reminder of why I write when the writing is hard. It sends me back to my computer with a metaphorical hug and a “it’s so worth it!”

Here's a sampling from that list. If you’re a writer and you struggle with self-doubt too, I hope you will find some inspiration from my list, and may even choose to write your own.

When I write:

  • I feel more “me;” writing is what I’m made for
  • I organize my flitting, sometimes distressing thoughts into something coherent and find their redemptive core
  • My senses start to sing (I see more beauty, taste my food, hear the music, find the mystic quality in the ordinary, until the mundane slips away)
  • My creative soul wakes up and brightens my world
  • I get to spend time with my writing friends who I love and cherish
  • My polished end products from blog posts to novels give me a sense of pride
  • There’s the surprise and delight of seeing a character take off on their own or a page practically write itself every once and a while
  • I go places and experience emotions that extend past the limits of my ordinary world
  • I’m reminded of the power of keeping at it – first tries often stink, but third and fourth and fifth tries sing
  • My readers are entertained
  • My readers may better understand people in their own lives through reading about my characters
  • I share beauty, and isn’t beauty meant to be shared?
  • I offer new perspectives, to myself and to my readers
  • I let my readers know they aren’t all alone in their experience of the world
  • I’m a happier, more confident mother because I’m creative (and a creative Rachel is a happier mom)
  • This introverted writer helps her loved ones know her better
  • I’m more confident and have more self-respect because I’ve finished big projects
  • When I write? What else is there? I’ve tried, and I can’t not write

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