I used to think the hard part about writing was when you sat down to write.
I used to think that the hard part was getting up the courage to send query letters.
I used to think the hard part was revising a novel after you got nailed with form rejection letters (or worse, Silence).
I used to think the hard part was carefully listening to the feedback people gave you without becoming a defensive monster of rage.
I used to think waiting was the hard part.
I used to think the soul crushing self-doubt was the hard part.
Now I know that the real hard part about writing is whatever you’re doing right now. It’s all hard. Some of it is harder for some people (I am not a revising fan, for instance), and some of it is easy (courage enough to send my work into the world? Probably not an issue for me—keeping me from sharing has always been the hard part). It’s all hard. This moment is hard, but since we live through it, we start to think, “Oh, querying wasn’t that hard compared to this new hell I’m in: submission!” Or “I used to think writing a rough draft was hard, until my editor/beta reader/wonderful mother who reads all the time suggested that I take out my favorite scene.”
It’s this moment that is hard. Writing is hard. Every second of it is hard. Some parts are more fun than others, but none of it is easy.
But why, Rena, Why is it so hard? I love it so much, and it makes me want to pull my hair out!
I’ll tell you.
It’s not a secret after all.
Writing is hard because it is the greatest thing ever. It is more powerful than any other form of communication (doubt me, read the Hunger Games then go watch the movie; I cried more for Roo's death than the whole movie--though I did enjoy the movie tremendously). It is hard because everyone wants to do it. If it weren’t so hard, you’d never be able to find a good book because—literally!—everyone would do it. If you doubt me, go into any public place and ask if anyone has an idea for a book they'd like to write.
I’m not joking. Writing is hard because it is the greatest pursuit in the world.
And, yeah, I know people are rolling their eyes at me (I mean, shoot, isn’t Halo the most important pursuit in the world?), but it’s true. Writing is hard because otherwise, it’s just words.
Now get back out there and write. This is the hard part, but you can do it.