Buckle-up, Buttercup, this ride has a lot of ups and downs!
It crossed my mind that thoughts of becoming a writer are similar to the butterflies we got as kids whenever the carnival came to town. Let me set the mood…
Excitement arises with flashy flyers and buzzing gossip – someone glimpsed the intriguing caravan easing through side roads, crossing a distant bridge, another heard the music… Then, as if by magic, the entire shebang materializes overnight in a farmers field. Come one, come all! Plinky music churns, floating across the fields, through the streets, and knocks at windows. The enticing aromas titilate the olfactory senses in the forms of cotton candy, roasted nuts and corndogs, with a tinny tune drifting upon the summer breeze to tickle your ears and tease the mind.
Suddenly, we are there. Sucked in and bedazzled by the candies, games, lights, music and rides. We want to do it all. Colorful characters calling from every direction, vying for our attention, time, money with promises of thrills, adventure, and fun.
We love it all. We never want to leave. Perhaps we could do more than sample these carnival delights but commit to them. Join up, run away and be part of thrills every day! We come to a giant white wall with the word The Big Ridewritten in large fancy letters. If we want to commit to the carnival, we have to get on The Big Ride. The only problem is, we can’t see what the big ride is and won’t know until inside and strapped into the chair.
Of course, we do it anyway, willingly rolling out onto the platform, ready to take the plunge.
We push off into the thrill of a thirty-foot drop! Heads whipping about and hair flapping like flags in a storm. We are exhilarated! After a few quick turns, humps, and dips we notice our speed begins to slow. Look ahead and realize there are others on the Big Ride, laughing, screaming and a few crying. Some are flying around the ride maintaining great momentum, others are moving at a slower pace, while some are stuck in the dips. Swinging back and forth, unable to build up enough speed to get over the next hump.
What have we done?
As our momentum starts to slow, reality sets in. The Big Ride is not powered by excitement and dreams – but by maintaining momentum. We hit a turn and look over the harrowing side, the rail has come apart where others fell off the Big Ride. Below are family and friends shouting, “Are you nuts?”. We survive the turn with minor whiplash but begin to doubt our sanity.
I love and (sometimes) hate the crazy rollercoaster of writing. Despite all the pitfalls I have decided to stay with it, losing momentum from time to time, and getting full-on stuck, sometimes. The thing is, if you can experience some of these problems and still push through with a kind of passion that does not evaporate from your veins – then you can be a writer.
The number one goal of all writers is to create quality literature that will entertain, teach, or move our intended audience, in some way. We must lasso and funnel the story bits and pieces whirling around in our heads onto the page, eventually attempt to arrange this scrambled collage into something remarkable. If done right, we can delight readers, inspire others, and even impress ourselves. This writing magic is every writer’s dream, and for those who achieve it – utopia! At least for a little while.
The problem is writers are human beings, facing the same challenges of day jobs, families, and the ups and downs of life – as those who do not feel irrationally compelled to add the extra stress of authorship to their to-do-list. Each day is a battle to sit down with enough time to write a chapter, blog article, or poem – let alone create an entire book.
Anyone who has ever attempted to write a story or poem can relate to the challenges of following a writing project through to completion. Whether you choose to write as a hobby, a part-time means of income, or as a full-time author – you understand that what looks effortless on the page to a reader is the product of numerous hours of mental anguish, finger (and butt) numbing labor, mind -bending focus, endless mugs of coffee (tea, wine, whiskey) – and squirrels!
So many squirrels…
And if we are not under barrage by said squirrels, an odd writer’s quirk urges us to seek them out. Distractions demand, entice, or give us an excuse to redirect attention away from writing goals. But do not be fooled, distractions are not the only bewilderment on the shaking, neck whipping, rollercoaster ride to authorship. In fact, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the onslaught of issues such as negativity, procrastination, imposter syndrome, and stagnation, all of which threaten writing success.
And by success, I mean, completing a piece of writing – no matter the size.
It is easy to feel like we do not have the time, mindset, or intelligence (for that matter), to be able to follow our dream of becoming a successful writer, or to continue succeeding in an existing writing career. At times, we might even think things would be much easier if we just stopped all the foolishness and pursued a normal life, like the rest of society…?
Do not give up on your passion so soon (or ever, for that matter)! You are driven to write for a reason. You have stories to tell, a unique perspective, and an inspiring voice that should be heard. If you didn’t, you probably wouldn’t be driven to write in the first place. Not everyone is meant to become a writer, even though many fall for the romantic notion of a luxuriant lifestyle, fame, and fortune. However, when it comes to the reality of the work involved and the hit or miss rewards, the novice writer eventually finds it a ridiculous and hopeless pursuit. The rest of population have no desire or patience for writing, and rarely understand, nor often take seriously, people who live for it. Frivolous! How little do they know….
Okay, back to us, and not quitting!
Can you imagine what would happen if writers around the world decided to give up their dream of becoming an author when things got tough? There wouldn’t be any writers. Period. Because believe me when I say – writing gets difficult for all writers. Anybody who says it’s easy, is not being honest. Every writer experiences pitfalls at one time or another. Even seasoned and successful writers are struggling with real or phantom problems.
It’s like trying to carry a 300-pound dream on your back, while free climbing Mount Figureitout, in the midst of a writer’s block avalanche, feral squirrels in chase, and probably a head cold to boot.
Good grief! You need a spirit guide, motivational coach, personal trainer and a doctor!
The good news is you can survive the big ride of being a writer and all the fears, fails, and challenges by preparing yourself for success. By acknowledging and understanding the types of problems that can, will or are getting in your way and utilizing proactive methods to rein them in and diminish their power.
Access my free downloadable guide Writing Pain: Impact to Action ! This seven page action guide aids in pinpointing your writing pains and offers solutions to get you back on track. I hope you find it helpful in your writing journey!
Great post. I sometimes wonder if I truly enjoy writing, because the dread I face when coming to the blank page can be daunting sometimes. But then I finish writing and realise that I do enjoy it anyway. Rollercoaster ride indeed. Anyway, thanks for this post!
Absolutely agree! Challenging to get started, but once focused and flowing, writing becomes satisfying. Thank you for reading, Stuart!