A Letter from One Writer to Another

. 3 min read

Dear Another,

When did writing become this hard?

It hasn't always been hard. It was so easy when you were a kid. It was so easy as a teenager.

But now, what the fuck? Why aren't the words flowing? God, you're older and wiser and a better writer than ever before in your life, yet pooh! Nothing happens!

You see this amazing metaphor and think it'll make a great, larger-than-life story. So you plot it, you see it in your head, yet you just can't get yourself to sit down and do it.

Sure, it's Resistance. Sure. It's just fear. Nothing more. All you need to do is sit down to do the work, and everything will sort itself out.

The hell it will!

You're sitting down, the file is open, you're at the point where you left off last time (ages ago), and it's not sorting itself out. You can't wait for inspiration to strike, so you force a word.

And it'll all shit. It's a shitty word. It doesn't work.

You're thinking: it's the pressure. To make it. To be successful. To make money. As a kid or a teenager, there wasn't such pressure. It was a hobby. It didn't need to work out, and thus, it worked out perfectly. The stories were amazing. There was flow.

But even if you stripped writing down into a hobby, into something you do without success or money in mind, it's still fucking hard.

So what gives?

Should you start to do it for fun? Only write what feels fun, only write when feels fun?

But that's not turning pro. That's not blue collar writing. Writing what or when it feels like fun isn't the way Stephen King became Stephen King.

So... fuck Stephen King, who is a freak of nature to begin with?

Or was he?

Maybe writing always came naturally from him, in childhood, in adolescence, in the years when he had another job? Through those hundreds and hundreds of rejection notes?

Maybe he never thought he would make it. Maybe he really did write for fun. Maybe he treated writing and getting published as a numbers game.

As in: he was not trying to succeed, he was aiming for a thousand rejection notes.

You know... I was watching You season 1 and I loved it so much - all the literature references, the finale where Beck writes her masterpiece, and most of all, the fact that literally every single one of the characters were antagonists. Don't you just love that - a story with no heroes, only bad guys?

Anyway. Just thinking. I'm sitting in the hotel lobby with a glass of champagne and a laptop. So I thought of you and decided to write. That's all.

Also, I think I may have dropped the bar too low for myself.

I mean, I tried full length novel writing, and everything I wrote sucked. So I wrote novellas, which were okay, but I couldn't do it day in, day out. Short stories? Fine. They turned out fine. But then I convinced myself that I didn't feel like writing short stories. So poetry. But now, I can't seem to write even that.

I know what you're going to say: just raise the bar. Keep raising it. Never settle. Demand more of yourself.

I know.

It's a wonderful idea, and I know, rationally, that it's a good idea and it will push me forward and force me to become better and to ship a lot. And don't even get me started with the rush of progress. I already know. It will be amazing.

Look at that, I used the definitive future tense.

All right, I'll try it.

I'll finish the metaphor story and then move on to work on the full length novel - you know, the opus magnum one. It's going to be fun. I feel a tingling in my spine already.

Anyway, how are you doing? What are you working on right now? Tell me everything.

All my love,

One Writer

P.S. Don't worry, I'm finishing the poetry book, too.