writing is difficult

Writing Is Hard

Think of a fiction writer. You’d probably imagine some person living the dream, making stuff up to entertain the masses. Not so fast there, bucko. The one thing I’ve learned about writing well is that it’s nowhere near as easy as you might imagine. Sure, you make stuff up, but you’re going to come across some heartbreaking facts at some point: 

Writing well is hard.

Writing Used To Be Fun…

I started off with fanfiction. Gatekeepers can boo and hiss all they want, but it’s truly my starting point and I’m not going to rewrite my history to make myself look better. No sugarcoating here, sugar. I had all the fun writing my Pirates Of The Caribbean fanfic, complete with Mary Sue. Over the years, however, I started to take writing seriously. That fun I used to have? It’s almost all but gone. I still have moments of fun while writing, don’t get me wrong. But for around 80% of it, it’s no fun at all. It’s difficult. I’d much rather be doing something else, and that’s where procrastination comes in. Right now, as I’m typing this very sentence, I know that I should actually be writing my current story. That’s right, ladies and gents, I’m procrastinating from writing with writing. It seems I can’t escape my one, true love. 

My Experience Is Not Unique

I was watching yet another video this morning on the subject of writing. This one was about Breaking Bad, and how the writers went about with writing it. You see, I recently got into the show and so far I find it beautifully written. The characters are stunning, the dialogue reminds me of the everyday feeling that Tarantino writes into his dialogue, and the situations that the characters put themselves in are very interesting. So back to this video I watched this morning. Vince Gilligan, the showrunner, said something that really stuck out:

“People say, ‘do you like being a writer?’ And I always say, ‘I like having written.’ Past tense. It’s… pretty much always satisfying past tense. But the job itself is like driving nails into your forehead.”

I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. And what’s more, this is not the first time I’ve come across this kind of quote by a successful writer. Just for clarification, when I say successful writer here, I mean any writer who finished a work and released it into the wild for human consumption.

Quotes To Feel Less Alone

I will now round up some of my favourite quotes about how difficult writing is. It is my intention to inspire you and have you feel like you’re in great company if you find writing as difficult as I do. Ready? Let’s go!

“I just sit at my typewriter and curse a bit.”

P.G. Wodehouse. He is the author of the Jeeves and Wooster books, and my personal writing idol. If this genius could curse in front of his typewriter, then there’s hope for all writers everywhere!

“Writing books is the closest men ever come to childbearing.”

Norman Mailer, author of 12 novels, including The Naked And The Dead

“I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.”

Gustave Flaubert, author of at least 12 books, including Madame Bovary.

“Every writer I know has trouble writing.” 

Joseph Heller, author of 7 novels, including Catch-22.

“The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.” 

Stephen King, author of 63 (and counting) novels, including Carrie.

“Beginning a novel is always hard. It feels like going nowhere. I always have to write at least 100 pages that go into the trashcan before it finally begins to work. It’s discouraging, but necessary to write those pages. I try to consider them pages -100 to zero of the novel.” 

Barbara Kingsolver, author of 9 novels, including The Poisonwood Bible.

“If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.”

Dorothy Parker, author of various short stories, most notably the compilation The Portable Dorothy Parker.

“The difference between wanting to write and having written is one year of hard, relentless labour. It’s a bridge you have to build all by yourself, all alone, all through the night, while the world goes about its business without giving a damn. The only way of making this perilous passage is by looking at it as a pilgrimage.”

Shatrujeet Nath, author of at least 5 works, including The Guardians of the Halahala.

“There is always, of course, that terrible three weeks, or a month, which you have to get through when you are trying to get started on a book. There is no agony like it. You sit in a room, biting pencils, looking at a typewriter, walking about, or casting yourself down on a sofa, feeling you want to cry your head off…”

Agatha Christie, author of 74 novels, including Murder On The Orient Express.

If you’re anything like me, you’re scared of writing. Stop that. Go write right now.

Special thanks to the following websites for their own collections of quotes. Go check them out for more inspiration and awesome quotes.


Writer’s College Blog 


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