So lately, I’ve been really stressed about my writing. I’ve felt like I’m not getting enough done, like I’m not moving fast enough, like, a...

When the Writing Gets Rough

So lately, I’ve been really stressed about my writing. I’ve felt like I’m not getting enough done, like I’m not moving fast enough, like, at this rate, I’ll never be published.

Like I just can’t do what I’ve set out to do.

The feeling has been caused by several problems, among them some non-writing-related, but time-consuming projects; the dreaded synopsis; and my main story, which I thought was finished only to realize it had several fundamental issues. So back to the editing board I went.

The harder I tried to get everything done, the more stressed out I felt. It seemed there was never enough time to write all that I wanted, so why should I even try? Maybe I should do something more attainable like become an actress – not sure my face is pretty enough, but plastic surgery works wonders  or maybe a politician  I’ll just learn to lie really well.

And that was when the Lord started sending encouragement my way. I read two writing books and a GoTeenWriters blog post, all three of them full of helpful tips and uplifting words. I started writing another story, got into my groove, and remembered how much fun writing is. I emailed a friend about my difficulties, and she sent back three words, “Can’t rush perfection!” but it made my day. It made me realize that I really can’t rush this. That writing is what I want to do, more than that, what I’ve been called to do.

But some days, writing is going to be hard. Matter of fact, it might be downright awful. Every once in a while, I’m not going to able to edit that chapter and those two little paragraphs just won’t sound right.

And that hurts. It’s stressful. It’s annoying. It gets under your skin like an itch you cant scratch, and makes you miserable in an even more excruciating fashion. In a word, it sucks, and I hate it. I just want everything to be smooth-sailing.

But that’s never going to happen. Whether I decide to be a writer, a movie star, or a congresswoman, my work is going to suck some days.

So I decided to come up with a failsafe for those days. Something to push me on, keep me going when I want to shoot my main character myself, pack my laptop away, and curl up with somebody else’s already-published and much better book for the rest of my life. And I figured the best thing I could do was remember why I was writing in the first place.

The first reason I started writing was because I enjoyed it. Because it was a cool pastime, and several of my friends did it. Then I wrote my first novel in NaNoWriMo 2011. That was when I knew I wanted to be a writer  for real  because I’d had fun. I’d written a story I knew could touch someone’s life, and I felt a calling on my life to spend the rest of it writing words that entertain and edify, words that make someone see the world and themselves a little bit differently. A little bit better.

Armed with these memories, I wondered how I could keep them in mind at all times. That’s when I noticed the little star sticky notes my mom gave me several months ago. And a brilliant idea was born.

My handwriting can be pretty awful, so in case you cant tell, it says: Youre a star! You believe Gods called you to be an author? Then an author you will be.

Writing can be pure magic – if you let it. Relax, enjoy it. Let it take you for a ride. Never apologize for nerdiness. Focus on the practice, not the performance.

Dont feel overwhelmed. Remember when writing was just fun. You dont have to do everything now. You dont have to be a world-famous author now. Just do the best you can with the time you have, strive and try your hardest, and watch God work everything out.

Entertain. Edify. And change the world.

I have these sticky notes, which in the shape of stars makes them all the better, right above my writing desk, and I’m going to keep these reminders up at all times, even when the going gets easy. Writing is one of the most important things in my life, and I want to always keep these words in mind so I always do the best I can with the time and ability I have. Even if my best is not where I want it to be at that moment, I’m still striving towards a goal. A goal I know is attainable. And these pretty little star-shaped notes will help me keep all that in perspective.

Now I wanna hear your story: why’d you start writing? And what do you do when the writing gets rough?

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  1. I love the star stickies, I've been doing something similar. At the end of each day I write my word count on a sticky note and put it on my wall. It makes me feel like I accomplished something. When writing gets tough it's usually because I'm distracted by other things, so I take a notebook and find a quiet place to write. If that doesn't work I consume copious amounts of chocolate and watch T.V. Great post its always nice to know that I'm not the only one who has a hard time writing.

  2. Looks like you've got a nice system worked out. I especially like the chocolate bit :)

  3. Really good post. I like the star stickies idea. :) I started writing because I wanted to make books that had everything I wanted, but now I feel like it's what God wants me to do. :)

    Stori Tori's Blog

    1. Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it. We'll touch the world for Him together, huh? :)


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