Sunday, February 28, 2016

It's Not "Easy"

Writing is fun, draining, exhilarating, emotional, and scary.  It takes you from the limits of your imagination to the heights of prose by painting a mosaic that draws other people to you.  It can be joyful as you pour your heart out to create the perfect story.  However, one thing it isn't is "easy."

I say this because I recently read a post on a business blog that said that writing was the easy part of what this person was trying to do.  As I thought on it, I realized that this person was doing it all wrong.  There's nothing easy about writing, especially if you want to do it right.

Sure, any idiot can sit in front of a computer and type a few words, maybe even crafting a coherent storyline, but no one will want to read it.  True writing requires time, effort, and study(the thing on this list I've found that most people don't want to put in...they just want to write, and the results show it).  Whenever I come across someone who tells me that writing is easy, I usually ask them what they've published.  At that point, I get hemming and hawing about how they haven't had the time or the system was against them or they didn't have the connections.  It's always an excuse, but they have to resort to that because writing is "easy."

Someone once said that in order to master any activity, you have to spend 10,000 hours doing it.  I don't necessarily think that's true since you can hone natural talent better in some cases than in others, but I do accept the fact that you can't just plop down and expect to poop out Harry Potter.  Writing takes effort, and that effort has to be more than just time.  You need to think about what's going on paper, and you have to constantly ask yourself if it's good or it sucks.  And when you figure out it sucks, you have to be willing to go back in and re-write that part.

Readers can tell the difference between someone who put in effort and someone who just farted out a bunch of gobbldy-gook.  Remember, even when you put in the hard work, not everything you write will be good.  For that matter, not everyone who writes will be good, no matter how hard they work, but I guarantee you that you won't be good if you put in no effort.  Even those with lots of talent have to work(think Peyton Manning versus Ryan Leaf).  If you think it's easy, you'll find yourself easily writing bad stuff.

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