Writing is easy

Writing is easy. And writing is hard, really hard.

I sound like I’m contradicting myself, but it’s true. Some parts of writing are easy for some people, and some parts are hard.

I love first drafts, and find them easy. I type fast, and I think through the story and characters when I’m not actually typing, so that when I sit down at the keyboard, the words come fast and usually fairly easily.

Rewriting is hard for me. This is when I lose faith in my words, wondering how, if they came so easily, why is making them better such a chore? Maybe I can’t write at all? Maybe my awful first drafts are destined to always be that way?

Improving my rewriting has become a core part of developing my craft. I always knew it needed work, but I had to study and persevere and give it all I had in order to get the hang of it. But it is still always a challenge, always the hardest part of writing.

And never let anyone tell you that rewriting is not writing. It is just as creative and inspired as you want it to be – and you do want it to be, trust me!

A writer friend of mine is the opposite. She hates first drafts and finds them incredibly hard. She’ll rewrite forever and ever, but truly wishes she could skip the first draft altogether (except then she’d have nothing to rewrite – right?). So for her, writing first drafts is hard. Rewriting, which she loves, is easy.

For you it might be different. You might find both stages hard. If you find both stages easy, maybe you’re not working deeply and strongly enough, especially at the revisions. Think about how you write, how you feel about writing, how you feel about rewriting. Write about this. Explore yourself as a writer. Understand who you are, what works for you, where your weaknesses lie. Then get to work.

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