Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Annoyed that it isn't easy

I have been struggling with personal issues lately, and, as always, that impacts my writing. And because I’m upset, I turn to the only real form of therapy that’s ever worked for me: Art. There’s art that I want to make—art that I need to make—but I find myself avoiding it. It’s not because I can’t make the art. It’s not that I don’t want to make the art. But it is hard.

And I find that sort of annoying.

I realize this is a personal problem, but there’s this feeling in our society that effortless is an expression of greatness. “Oh, I just wrote that novel in 6 days,” is somehow a greater novel than one that took 6 months because clearly writing a novel in 6 days is going to have way less belly aching than the novel that takes 6 months.

So I avoid the projects because they are not effortless.

Some would argue—and rightly so—that the effortless creations are only born of two places. One of these places is practice. Practicing day and night to achieve a level of greatness and skill with something is clearly a thing. After all, my first drawings of Stitch took hours and they were on cards that were 5 inches high. The one I slapped onto the concrete took exactly 3 hours and it was three feet by three feet. Obviously, practice makes the expression of art seem effortless.

The only other place where art is effortless is when it is made out of laziness. And this is where I’m worried my work is. I’ve been practicing a technique that is, at its heart, lazy. It’s easy and effortless, the only real drawback keeping it from being an absolute joy is that the art created through it is… predictable. It doesn’t show my vision or my ability, it shows my ability to follow a You Tube tutorial. It might look nice, but I worry that it’s lazy and repetitive to the point of not being worthwhile.

And, because I’ve studied the craft of story for so long, I worry that my novels are like this as well, that I don’t challenge myself and they are born out of my laziness. Cliche, repetitive. 

Does anyone else thread this needle of anxiousness between being lazy and thinking effortless art is somehow better (but worrying that because it didn’t receive it’s blood sacrifice it’s somehow not as good)?

As always, this is a blog hop, head over to the Ninja Captain, Alex and be sure to thank this month's co-hosts, JH Moncrieff, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Jen Chandler, Megan Morgan, and Heather Gardner!


  1. I think we all worry at some point, but that's part of it--pushing through, trusting your gut, and reaching for something greater. I think the greatest success is being able to sit back and say, "That's the best thing I've ever produced."

  2. I wouldn't be able to write a book in six days or six months. lol

  3. Writing is hard work. I can't imagine any writer being considered lazy.

  4. I worry that my writing is like that because I stick to the same genre and style.

  5. I don't think I've ever thought much about this. I've always known that art takes effort, though most of my thoughts on that are annoyance directed toward people who don't get that writing takes time and that they should stop asking authors why the next book isn't out yet. >_<

    But I don't think I've ever thought of any art as lazy. I think an artist is more skilled or just plain better at their art when they can produce stuff that makes it look easy, though.

  6. First off...Wow...I LOVE your book cover and title!! Consider me intrigued! As for the effortless artists. I hate them and love them. I'm not one of them. For me, writing is a slow and difficult process, but I have friends who pump out amazing novels in two months. When I feel really envious of their effortless process I remind myself it took Gregory Roberts ten years to write Shantaram. To each their own...


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