Let’s face it, sometimes writing becomes a chore. We get stuck on a scene, a chapter, a plot hole and we throw our proverbial pen across the room, shouting “why do I even bother?”… or something less tasteful if you’re like me. I could make a sailor blush.
There is a moment (or a thousand) for all of us whether it’s draft one or wading through the river of shit that is editing (I really hate editing) where we wonder why we are even in this relationship.
Because writing is a relationship. We all remember when we fell in love, wistfully dreaming of that rush we got. Those sentences we read back to ourselves and think, “Holy balls, I’m a genius”. Or maybe you just get goosebumps- whatever. I’ve been so high on writing endorphins that I was like, “move over Ernie, Harper, and George, there’s a new sheriff in town.”
But the honeymoon phase ends, as they are wont to do, and you realize this relationship is gonna take a little work. The work isn’t necessarily bad, it’s good- real good sometimes. Ideas whispering sweet nothings in your ear at night, plot holes resolving themselves before your eyes, hell, sometimes even your grammar is pretty damn good on the first try. It’s not always easy, your writing needs your attention, your dedication, and it’s easy to neglect it. It’s not always easy, this relationship, but you’re in it to win it.
Then one day, maybe gradually or out of the blue, you’re staring at pages of red slashes or a blank screen and you think “how did we get here?” You feel resentment, pressure, even suffocated. You might even want out.
Take a step back. This is a long term commitment. Sometimes you have to fall back in love.
Maybe you need a date night with a short story, or a night away from from your writing entirely. Maybe you need to go back to the beginning. Perhaps you just need a night with another book (I won’t tell).
Whatever it takes, for the love of all that’s writing, don’t give up.