I call myself a writer in my head.
Of course, ‘aspiring writer’ would probably be more accurate. I’ve never been published and I don’t get paid to write; but that’s how I think of myself–as a writer. I have a writer’s soul. Writing is the missing piece I was searching for all those years; it’s the thing that makes me feel most alive, most fulfilled, most like me.
I’ve never been consistent at writing. (I’ve never been consistent at anything, to be completely truthful .) I’ve never finished any of the stories I’ve started. I’m ashamed to admit that, because most of my writer friends are quite prolific, and have a spread of finished projects to prove it. I feel as if I don’t deserve to call myself a writer, because if you dared me to prove it I’d come up empty-handed.
I get blocked way too easily. Most of my ideas have never made it past the incubation stage because the second I hit a snag or a problem I can’t readily solve I freeze up. I suppose it’s a lack of confidence. I don’t believe I can answer the questions I’m faced with, or fix the glaring issues, or figure out where the hell to take the plot. I read the work of writers I’m in awe of and think, There’s no way I’m smart enough or creative enough to come up with something like that.
I know that one of the keys to writing is…actually writing. Something. Every day. Forcing yourself to sit down and put fingers to keyboard, or pen to paper, and produce words. Not waiting for the ever-elusive inspiration and (in some cases, even more elusive) motivation to strike, but pushing yourself to overcome the inertia and start.
A couple days ago I decided I was going to write something, dammit, so I sat down at my computer and typed. 45 minutes later, I had a bunch of useless snippets and a weirdly descriptive scene about blood and concrete. (I was listening to Radiohead.) Annoyed that I hadn’t managed to strike up a spark of brilliance, I texted my bestie. (Am I allowed to use the word “bestie” if I’m over 15?)
h: why is writing so haaaaaaaard marissa?
m: i knooooooooowwww it’s the worst
At least I have a faithful writing companion:
Hobbes takes a “balls to the wall” stance on most issues.
So, other writers: how do you do it? How do you push past roadblocks? Where do you find inspiration? How do you overcome the deficit and produce something when the ‘idea well’ is so parched it couldn’t grow a cactus? Help a sister out and share some writing tips. Tell me about your process.