Sometimes the Writing Process Can Really Mess with Your Mind
There's nothing easy, simple, or clean about the profession
There’s something about being a writer that clutches your very soul.
Frankly, I think there’s somewhat of a dark side that lies within those who claim the profession as their livelihood.
Believe me when I say there’s nothing easy, simple, or clean about writing. And sometimes, the process can really mess with your mind.
In spite of the potential for emotional discomfort, we welcome the turmoil with open arms.
Perhaps there’s something to the idea that the best results are born from confusion and chaos.
Maybe that’s true. Personally, I think writing is more of an organic practice than a maelstrom of debris.
By that I mean it’s pretty much impossible to let ideas and concepts sort themselves out on their own and eventually fall into formation as if there’s some kind of robotic routine controlling the process and outcome.
Because we’re not wrapping burgers, shoveling fries, and pushing a greasy bag out the drive-through window.
Writing is about taking everything into consideration - and thinking things through.
Even as the words appear on the screen, you repeat them in your mind, evaluating and critiquing their usage, and constantly wondering if you should backspace, delete, and start over again.
But rather than throwing your hands in the air, you resist the urge to surrender to those perplexing thoughts.
Why? Writers are a persistent breed.
If you’re willing to stay the course, you’ll notice a kind of connectedness that begins to form as a story develops — an interplay of mental challenge, internal rebuttal, and visual interpretation that ultimately signals you may be on to something — maybe something great.
The big question is do you have the fortitude to follow through to the end?
Here’s a short excerpt from Please God, Make Me a Writer that may help prepare you for the journey. Because forging ahead without knowing what you’re getting into can be costly in ways you’d never imagine.
Being a Writer Requires Resolve, Commitment, and Guts
“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” — Richard Bach
Whether you’re objectively considering the profession or in the midst of a passionate embrace with your muse, there are certain undeniable facts about writing that eventually rise to the surface.
Like pockets of desperate air released from the seabed, these truth bubbles eventually drift toward the calm surface, ultimately bursting under the pressure of reality.
For most of us, the unavoidable hurdles don’t matter.
Because we’re committed, compelled, and fueled by inspiration.
Writing is in our blood, and we won’t — can’t — give up on our dream. Even if we attempt to ignore those stories we’re often compelled to write, I think our heads would likely explode from the effort of trying to hold them back.
To someone ready to wear the badge of “a writer,” the suggestion of keeping our thoughts and ideas to ourselves is unthinkable — even inhumane.
For most of us, sharing our thoughts, ideas, and emotions through the written word is tantamount to a burst of adrenaline.
Finishing a piece can be exciting, and although we’re filled with the assurance and confidence that we’ve done our best, we understand the work is just beginning.
Without regret and in full acceptance of the potential consequences of exposing the truth, here are my top 9 undeniable truths that come with the responsibilities — and privilege — of being a writer …
Until next time,
Jill Reid is the author of Please God, Make Me A Writer, Real Life, Discover Your Personal Truth, and Life in Small Doses. Her books, videos, and newsletters explore writing, life, relationships, and personal success strategies for building the skills and confidence you need to achieve your dreams.
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