Writing is hard work.
It’s lonely, isolating, hard work.
Whether it’s fiction or memoir, it forces you to dig deep into the depths of your soul.
It’s exhausting, gut wrenching. Sometimes it hurts so much that it’s easier just not to do it. Sometimes it takes so much out of you that after 30 minutes and 417 words, you’re done for the day and it’s not even 10 am. That’s how it feels today, for me, anyway.
But like so many have said before me and will continue to say: It’s about showing up. It’s about doing the work regardless of how daunting and exhausting it may be.
It’s about working through the slumps and the writer’s block.
Now, I am not the best example of this. This is not a motivation manifesto to tell you to get your butt into gear any more than it is a reminder to myself, to my writer’s heart, that the only way the story will reach the world is if it makes its way to the page, first.
What is the story you need to tell? Is it a tragic love story? A fantastical comedy? Is it just putting to paper the trials and tribulations that have gotten you where you are today?
What am I writing? Right now, I’m writing the story of a chronic illness diagnosis that lead to a cancer diagnosis and everything that happened immediately after that. I’m writing the story of hope and love that got me through the darkest days of my life. I know the only way that these stories will get out of my head and into the world is if I show up and do the work.
So for now, I will take a break and have a coffee. I will pick up the book I’m currently reading, curl up on the couch, and immerse myself in someone else’s world for a while, since mine is just a tad bit too hard to be in today.
When I’m ready – and I will be ready – I will come back to my desk.
I will show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse will, too (loosely quoting Isabel Allende who’s views on writing are pretty beautifully summarised here).