What’s the hardest thing for you about writing or the writing life?

The hardest thing…

Sandi’s great post regarding National Novel Writing Month got me thinking about how my experience with NANOWRIMO in 2008 helped jumpstart my writing after my cancer experience. Lately, I’ve been struggling with many of the valuable things I had gained from NANOWRIMO, the biggest for me being dedicated daily writing where I shut off the internal editor and simply cranked words for first drafts. Recently, I’ve slowed down again, agonizing over every word…. for me, that’s fine in revising, but torture and unproductive in first drafts.

The hardest thing…

Two years ago, I attended two creative writing classes at Marquette University, taught by Larry Watson, author of Montana, 1948 (a lovely, lovely book now taught in many classrooms). I was in the audience recently for the launch of his latest book, American Boy, and was very struck by his answer to the question: What’s hardest for you about writing?  “Sentences. Getting it right.”

For me, at this moment in my life, that’s not the hardest thing about writing. For me, the hardest thing is shutting off the fretting I do about multiple family members’ issues — the fretting creates a static in my head that makes it truly difficult for me to focus on my writing — and, for some reason, I seem able to write non-fiction, but the static creates difficulty for me with my fiction writing. And, that leads to my greatest fear:

Let’s hear from you, MHCers. What’s the the hardest thing for you about writing and/or the writing life?



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