The Thing About Writing

Here's the thing about writing: it's hard. It's the thing that makes me feel alive and like I'm doing what I was created to do, but it's also the thing that is a struggle full of resistance and excuses. I pour words onto the pages of my journal, but then stare at a blank screen and feel stuck. It's one thing to put my words down for my eyes only, and another thing altogether to hit publish and let them fly.

Here's the thing about writing: it's worth it. The hard posts, the ones that stay in the drafts for months too long, the ones that come with tears or shaking hands, they're worth it. They're the raw words, the ones that are real in the deepest and richest of ways, and they matter. I read words like that from writers I love and from strangers I've just stumbled upon, and my heart soars. Transparency is beautiful. Sharing struggles and successes and stories is essential-- we are all human, all struggling, all fighting through the days and trying to be brave, and when we can read words that remind us we're not alone, it's helpful. It's encouraging. It's uplifting. It's worth it.

Here's the thing about writing: it's a gift. I forget that a lot. It's a freedom to be able to share my words freely and send them out to anyone listening around the whole wide world. Not everyone has that freedom. I so often feel a pressure to publish, a pressure to be perfect, a pressure to have things figured out before I write them down...but it's a gift to write. Not pressure. Not a burden. When I see it that way, when I remember to be grateful for the chance to share and spill and journey through things with my words, it's a joy and a gift to do so.

Here's the thing about writing: you just have to do it. Inspiration may strike, or it may not. You may feel tired and exhausted and worn out and just not ready. You may not think you have anything to say. You may feel like you're not worthy to be a writer or you don't have the authority to speak into something. Just do it. Just write. Just put pen on paper and letters on the screen and do the work of it. Maybe in the end, it's not meant for the world. Okay. That's fine. You wrote anyway. You did the work. You pushed through and made something come to life, even if that something isn't polished or pretty or put together. It doesn't need to be. You just need to do it. And do it again. And keep doing it. When it's easy, when it's hard, when you're excited about it and when you feel anxious, when it's sunny outside and when it's storming, when you feel alone or when you feel wrapped up in love, when you've been learning a lot or when you're going through a dry spell, just keep doing it. Keep writing. Keep working. Keep journeying and writing it all down and seeing what happens.

Here's the thing about writing: 

I want to assure you with all earnestness, that no writing is a waste of time, -no creative work where the feelings, the imagination, the intelligence must work. With every sentence you write, you have learned something. It has done you good. It has stretched your understanding. I know that. Even if I knew for certain that I would never have anything published again, and would never make another cent from it, I would still keep on writing.
— Brenda Ueland, in "If You Want To Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit"
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