We’ve all got this weird desire to be someone else, and to be that someone else is a constant battle with ourselves. You go into the grocery store, you look at the meat section and you find the most delicious cut of meat you’ve ever come across. You go into the bakery, look at the bread section and you find the best loaf of bread you’ve ever eaten.
You can do that with other people too, of course. But it can be hard to let yourself be someone else for long enough to really make a change. If you want to be a writer, you have to do more than read some blogs. You have to write. You have to create. To break out of your daily routine and into a truly original voice, you have to do that first.
I mean, it’s hard to find a new place to live, move in with your parents, and write. These are all really nice things, but it’s also hard to do it. It’s hard to be a writer if you don’t feel like you’re “doing it.” The challenge is to do it, but not to feel like you’re doing it. I’ve read articles that make it seem like the hardest part is just getting your fingers to type.
This is one of those situations. The hardest part is, and always will be, writing. To write, you have to put pen to paper, and then a thought or two, and then a sentence or two, and then a few paragraphs and then a few pages of words. And that is all it takes.
It’s taken me awhile to realize this, but the hardest part isn’t actually writing. It’s the act of writing, of putting words down on paper. And the act of writing is the hardest. I hate writing like I hate writing. I hate reading like I hate reading. I hate working like I hate working. This is why I love being a writer. At least then I get to do all these things that I hate doing.
The fact is, writing isn’t just about the physical act of writing, it also involves the ability to not only express yourself in words, but to express your emotions as well. No one can just sit down at a keyboard and write. To write is to express oneself. Of course, being able to express ourselves is also about expressing who we are as people. And that takes a lot of work. And I am not saying that writing is easy. You have to sweat a lot.
Writing, like playing a musical instrument, requires a lot of skill, determination, and dedication. But despite the hard work it takes to get it right, there is one thing that will always remain constant: the feeling of achieving your goals and finally finding your voice. And that’s what I call “The Voice.” It’s a feeling I find myself having every time I sit down to write.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down to write something and I just can’t get it out the way it should be. Like with this novel, I’ve written over 25,000 words and I’m at the end where I should be at the end of the book. I’ve been taking notes for days and days. Then I’ll write a few sentences and then I have one big moment.
You should always be writing. You should always be doing two things at once. You should be making your mark in one direction and then you should be looking in the other direction. What you put down is what you get. The important thing is that you don’t let your work stagnate. You don’t let your words go to the library. You don’t let your notes go to the trash. You don’t let your writing sit in your journal.
The point of writing is not to record how you feel about something the moment you’re writing it. It’s to record what you are feeling at that moment, right there, and then to make those feelings into words. You’re not supposed to look back years later and think, “I should have been writing more. I would have had more stuff in my life that I could have told my wife or my kids about.