The Pain of Writing

Gloria Steinem said, “I do not like to write – I like to have written.”
I’m right there with you sister. I’m in the midst of writing two important works (by important, I mean I know there are people who want and need this information; I get emails and phone calls with questions about it all the time). One is an e-book, the genesis of which goes back almost two years! And yet I have to make myself set aside the time to do it. And then when the appointed time comes, I have to force myself to stay off Facebook and Twitter and actually do the writing. It’s too easy to get lost in “doing research” and avoid composing original thoughts.

What is up with that? It’s not just me. Do you struggle with this challenge too? You’re not alone. I know plenty of writers who struggle with this issue. Is it a fear of not having anything to say? Or conveying the message in an imperfect way? Sometimes it feels like the right words (or any words) are just out of reach.

“There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.” ~Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith

One of the strategies I’ve found helpful is to do a short, ten or fifteen minute, meditation to clear the head. There are some good ones at Meditation Oasis. I particularly like podcast #29, Enhance Your Creativity, for helping focus my thoughts before writing. Podcast # 37, Accessing Intuition, works well too. Take a look at the list – they’re all free – and see if there’s something that resonates with you.

Another good approach comes from Nike. Just do it. Close your email. Go offline. Put on the Pandora “spa” channel. Attach blinders. Sit your butt in the chair and start writing. Even if you think it’s crap, keep writing. You’ll edit later. For now, write, write, write. I’ve heard it gets easier the more you do it. Personally, I’ve not gotten to that point yet – something to look forward to. In the meantime, I’ll use a bit of personal discipline and get to work. Someone is waiting. Someone needs to read exactly what it is I’ve got to say.