“Writing is easy.” Whoever said that was not a writer.
I don’t care if you’re Stephen bloody King or the schmo sitting in front of your computer staring aimlessly at nothing while you’re trying to think of what to have for dinner when you should be writing; writing is most definitely NOT easy. Writing, like anything else, requires lots and lots of hard work; that’s the only easy part about it. That’s the part that you hear preached at all those seminars you spent money on or all the “Writing for Dummies” books you’ve bought: Write every day and eventually something will happen.
I write every day, but my poetry turns into grocery lists; my verse, into that damn pop song I can’t get out of my head; my short stories, into movie reviews; my novel, ah yes, my novel ... My novel is complete. It rests comfortably on the bookshelves beneath a thin layer of dust. It is not published.
You see, I completed a novel ... longhand. Now I have to tackle the incredible task of editing it and transfering it onto my laptop. One might read this and think “Hey, what are you complaining about you nitwit? At least you’re done! The hardest parts over with.” How sweet it would be if that were true ... In retrospect I think writing the story was the easiest bit, because as soon as I started typing it out I found myself editing and changing it more than I had ever intended to. I read back some of the paragraphs I wrote and thought “Who the hell wrote this shit!? Surly not I!” And because I talk to myself in some hybrid sort of Victorian speech and dramatic theater thespian jargon, the mess seems bigger than it actually is.
I am as committed to my deadlines as Jesse James is to Sandra Bullock. Sometime back in February I gave myself one year to finish my book. Tempus fugit. I have twelve chapters completed and saved. That was over a month ago. My passion seems to have waned, my muses decided to go to France on sabbatical (don’t they have enough freakin muses over there any way!?) and self-esteem as a novelist is depleting faster than these chocolate-covered strawberries before me.
There was a time when all I wanted to do was write. To have a job as a writer anywhere was a dream come true, to complete a novel was nothing short of a trophy I could place in my imaginary room of accomplishments sitting comfortably between my nobel prize for world peace and my really cool cappuccino maker.
Why do I always feel two steps behind everyone else? Am I meant to walk away and start treading my own path? Or do I follow behind authors like Ray Bradbury who is as iconic to me as Bieber is to millions of young girls and even some sexually confused boys? For a few terrifying moments I thought I had lost my passion for writing, my love for it. Those moments stretched on like a nightmare where you feel paralyzed with fear and you’re not entirely sure what to be afraid of ... It was then that Mr. Bradbury’s words came to me in full force as clear as they did the day I heard him speak.
“Do what you love, and love what you do.”
Without my writing I feel empty, lifeless, meaningless, dead.
As I look at the last strawberry on my plate I realize I have once again experienced a resuscitation, albeit a small one, in my passion for what I love. In any case, it has lasted long enough to keep me from devouring that last succulent fresa. Indeed, my hunger has transpired from fruit to words ... and this schmo has never felt more ravenous.