Sunday, April 10, 2011

On Writing

God--who knew how difficult the writing process can be?

Writing has always been something that's come easy to me, more or less. I love it. It's my passion and I'm 99.99% sure that this is what I've been called to do. I want to build a life around it, and that's exactly what I plan to do. But... there's a lot more to it than I initially realized as an idyllic and terrified college freshman. It can be pretty tough work sometimes. I have some great ideas in my head and some great stories to tell--that isn't the problem. The real challenge--for me--comes in the follow-through. Seeing it all the way to the end. I'll get inspired, start out writing, everything's going great, and this will last for about an hour. Maybe more.

Then, I hit a wall. I stop. I lose interest. Most of the time, I never touch the story again. In the best cases, I come back--usually after a year--look through what I was writing, enjoy it, add a little bit here and there, and then abandon it again. But this time is going to be different. Seriously. This time is going to be different, because it has to be. I'm writing a book about my around-the-world travels, that I started while I was actually on the trip. I've got a great support system that is going to hold me accountable--whether I like it or not. I've got some mandatory, fully-enforced writing time set aside, with zero distractions. I've got stories, and ideas. Yet, I can;t deny that I'm still finding it difficult.

There's almost too much there. Ya know? I have so much I want to say, and so much I want to write about. My mind works faster than my fingers, and it frustrates me and discourages me and makes me feel so tired and so overwhelmed. I'm tempted to abandon this one, too. But I can't. Because this is it. This is the one. This is that work that I can finally put my stamp on. Finish it. Call it my own. Make a statement. My writing prof. thinks it could very well be published, after minimal tweaking and, obviously, a handful of additions (the story doesn't technically have a middle... but it's got a beginning and an end--so, as Jack Nicholson once said, "Two out of three ain't bad.").

I know it's going to be fine, just like everything else in life that I stress over. The prize at the end is definitely worth the journey. I just wish it didn't take so long for me to get there.