Monday, December 8, 2014

The Struggle Is Real

The struggle of writing is real, folks. 

I say this, because the word struggle, when broken down, is exactly what I have been dealing with when it comes to writing. Struggle; to make forceful or violent efforts to get free of restraint or constriction, to strive to achieve or attain something in the face of difficulty or resistance, to have difficulty handling or coping with something, engage in conflict. The definitions go on and on, though these are particularly relevant to my personal struggle

I'd like to define a few more words within that definition, because the definitions further deepen my own understanding of my struggle, and therefore I hope to deepen your understanding. I also hope to help anyone else who is currently struggling with writing. 

Restraint; a measure or condition that keeps someone or something under control or within limits. In this particular case, and in the case of many writers, my restraint is myself. I am my own struggle, my own barrier, my own limitation. I limit myself when it comes to writing. Therefore, I am making forceful and violent efforts to get free of my own limitations set forth by myself. 

Difficulty; a thing that is hard to accomplish, deal with, or understand. I strive to achieve and attain great writing even in the face of my lack of understanding, my inability to deal with my own exceptions, and my frustration to understand my limitations. I am unable at times to cope with the difficulty that comes with trying to accomplish writing. 

I know this is something that all writers will understand, because we all go through it. We all put so much pressure on ourselves as writers; to be great, to make sense, to stay consistent and relevant. We want to make sense. We want to be heard. We want to be understood. The biggest question I ask myself is, why is someone going to understand what I'm trying to say when sometimes I don't even understand what I'm trying to say? 

Sometimes I don't even understand the point I am trying to get across, or what my motive is. Sometimes I let myself sink into that dark place. You all know what I'm talking about... That dark place where we doubt everything about our writing; we doubt our motive, our ability, our patience. We wonder why we should even write because who is going to read what we're writing anyways. 

It's been at least six months since I have posted to this blog, and it has been a few months since I have written anything that counts as constructive. Every time I thought of writing, that doubt would creep into my mind; why bother? 

I was planning to participate in National Novel Writing Month. I had an amazing plot, which I was in love with. I had my characters all planned out, my story line was great. I had mountains of ideas and I was so proud of myself. Though, when it came time to start writing, the pressure, the struggle, was so real. It was overwhelming; the pressure I put on myself because of my brilliant idea was pressing, suffocating even. I wanted to do this idea justice, and every time I started to write, I felt like a failure. I felt like I wasn't putting out the quality that I felt this idea deserved. 

So I spent the whole month of November at rock bottom, the lowest point of writing I have experienced. The idea for my novel stared me in the face with utter disappointment. I was just baffled and depressed by anything that I could possibly come up with. Nothing met my expectations of greatness that I intended for that novel. 

About halfway through November, I gave up, which is something I have regretted everyday since. I surrendered to my disappointment and let the idea go. I stopped logging in and staring at my computer screen. I was done trying to fight against the struggle I had set forth for myself. 

A big part of it, I've come to realize, is that I am lost. I have lost my plan, somewhere in the midst of life. I no longer have an end game, and this has been bothering me, lingering in the back of my mind and reminding me how lost I am. I finally confronted this feeling. I sat and thought long and hard about it; why was I feeling so lost? What was my plan? What was I going to do with the rest of my life? These are all legitimate questions. 

Though, the more I asked, the more defeated I felt. I didn't have the answers. So finally, I asked myself, do I need to have the answers? Do I need to have a plan? And as I asked myself that, I realized, I do not. The pressure of needing a plan caused such a great deal of stress. As I asked myself if I needed to have all the answers, I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders. As I realized that I do not need to have all the answers, I felt even more weight fall away, and my mind was freer. It began to welcome the inspiration that was all around me, all along. It began to wonder and think about writing. It began to long for writing. Most importantly, I began to long for writing. 

So here I am, finally feeling ready to get back to writing; finally ready to free myself from my own limitations and throw myself back into writing. 

I know a lot of my viewers will be or used to be writers, so I hope you all read this and can relate. I also hope you will comment and share your own struggle. Happy writing friends! 

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