Writing is hard work. Sometimes the words flow easily, but that is often not the case. I struggle to find the right words and phrases. Even when the words come easily work is needed to shape and prune them through edits and revisions.
There are times when writing seems even harder. Sometimes that means I need to step away from the piece for a while and do something to refresh and re-energize. Sometimes it means I am not yet ready to write that particular story. And sometimes it means I need to let go of what I was trying to say.
I’ve learned a continual struggle to rewrite a particular line, with the right words or phrase eluding me, may be a sign the sentence doesn’t belong and isn’t needed. Deleting the sentence is freeing and allows me to continue with the story. Sometimes this applies to an entire paragraph.
The struggle may also mean the story I need to tell is different than the one I am working on. I recently struggled with a piece I was working on my for my travel blog Destinations Detours and Dreams. I had lots of words and material (maybe too much), but was having trouble finding the motivation to finish the piece. I wasn’t happy with how the piece was unfolding. After several efforts trying to force through it, I realized the better story was contained within a subset of what I was writing about. I changed my focus and the writing became easier. I regained interest in what I was writing.
It can be difficult to let go of an idea or drop pieces of writing I’ve worked hard on. Because writing can be hard, I don’t always recognize when that struggle has gone beyond a normal level of work. I sometimes need to stop trying to force the words, give up control and be quiet for a while. And then I hear the whispers from the universe or my creative muse.
What have you learned from your struggles with writing?