When You Love Being a Writer, But Don’t Love Writing

Sometimes the product is more fun than the production.


Okay. Admit it.

Even if this isn’t you all the time, you’ve had these moments. We all have.

Sometimes, you really enjoy being a writer.

But you do not enjoy actually … you know. Writing.

Writing looks cool from the outside, when you have something pretty to show off.

Except that pretty thing doesn’t just appear out of nowhere. Someone has to create it.

Oh, right. That “someone” is you.

This stuff is hard. “I don’t want to” is a very convincing argument for just walking away without finishing something.

We love the product. We don’t always love the production.

We fall in love with the idea of holding a newly printed copy of our books in our hands … until we realize we actually have to sit down and write a book.

We adore the idea of having a blog thousands of people read … until we realize how much work goes into keeping up a blog year after year.

The thought of being able to say we write for a living gives us chills. Until we’re slumped over our laptops at one in the morning crying because we hate everything we just spent all day writing.

People generally like the idea of the writing life, but want very little to do with the actual habit of writing.

That’s just one of many things that separates the dreamers from the achievers.

There are days I struggle to get out of bed in the morning because I know that in a few hours, I’m going to have to start writing. And I don’t want to do that.

But the thing about dreaming is, you have the power to transform your ambitions into reality.

I get out of bed and mentally prepare myself to write because that feeling of being finished, at the literal end of the day, is worth the effort to me.

There are always going to be days you struggle. Sometimes I have to say out loud, to myself, while staring at a blank page on my computer screen, “I really don’t want to do this. But I’m going to feel so much better once I do it.”

The process is hard. The product takes work.

But if you keep your eye on that endpoint, at least you have something to get you through those really tough days.

And don’t ever feel bad for having a hard time. It doesn’t mean you’re not meant to be a writer or that you’re failing. It means you’re human. But humans can train themselves to push themselves farther than their perceived limits (within reason — don’t hurt yourself).

You CAN do this.

One word at a time.

That’s how I got through writing this blog post.

One word at a time, until I reached the last one.

Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a nine-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.

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11 thoughts on “When You Love Being a Writer, But Don’t Love Writing

  1. Thank you so very much. I’ve forgotten that feeling of having finished something I wrote. Finished knitting, on the other hand, I’m fairly familiar with. I imagine they’re very similar feelings; it’s the relief and the exhilaration/joy of having a finished product in your hands, something that *you* made and (hopefully) others will treasure just as much as you do.

    1. Exactly! :) Actually, every once in awhile I’ll pick up something I’ve finished and hold it in my hands. It doesn’t actually accomplish anything, but it’s a good reminder that you HAVE finished something before and you CAN do it again!

  2. You spoke my mind. I love sharing my stories and being a writer but the writing part, not so much. It’s time consuming and heavy concentration trying to put my thoughts into sentences and sentences into a story that flows.

    1. Writing is EXTREMELY time-consuming. It amazes me still how many people who want to write don’t realize how much time and effort it takes. It’s worth it, but yes – it’s hard, no matter how long you’ve been writing. I completely understand the struggle.

      1. It truly is. I just took about a two weeks break from blogging because I got worn-out. it was nice taking time off but definitely feels good to be back. Although it’s hard even in the long run, I hope it does in fact get a little bit easier as far as putting my writing into sentences.

  3. Totally agree, sitting down and getting started is the first hurdle, then completing something you actually like is the second, then rounding it off and polishing it up is the third. And if you’re still alive (and writing) after that, well you’re amazing!

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