I've spent the past hour working on the next draft of my WIP. You know, the actual draft where I'll actually (hopefully!) get a coherent story. The first one was spent just writing, telling myself the tale, seeing what would happen, getting a feel for the characters. Now comes the more delicate work. The more intense work. The real writerly work.
And let me tell you, its hard.
I one sentence that took me about twenty minutes to finally work out. I needed to transition smoothly from events, to identifying a character. Finally, I believe I worked it out but, seriously! Twenty minutes. For one sentence.
It got me down for a few minutes. I couldn't help thinking, does this happen to other writers? Are people who are better at it, more adept at it, able to plunk out words no problem? And then I started thinking about my short stories. The ones that are complete, 'the end' is written. Those were that hard. I didn't spend this much effort on them!
Oh wait. Yes. Yes they were this hard and yes I did spend this much effort on them.
It's easy for me to forget how many hours I spent, sitting at the dining room table at my old townhouse in Virginia, writing and rewriting, and stressing over one little paragraph in Flowers for Clockwork Street. Or in Autumn in the Shenandoah. Or several of my other shorts that are out on sub. Since they're finished and complete its so easy to forget the really work that went into them.
Sometimes I don't think I give myself enough credit. Or we as writers don't give ourselves enough credit for how hard writing actually is. It's delicate work, and I know I at least guess, second guess, and triple guess myself. It does take time and energy to figure out how to get words on paper so that others can enjoy a story. And its something not everyone can do.
I guess the moral of this is that it's okay if this writing thing is hard. It's hard because we want to make sure everything is good, is perfect, is what we want to say. And the fact that we find it hard is just a testament to how much we care.