Why Don’t Writers Write?

by Randy Murray on November 5, 2013

Writing is a very difficult thing to do. It is an act of will. Sustaining the will to write for long periods of time can be exhausting.

Almost any artistic pursuit is difficult, especially if you want to do it well. But I’ve found that writing in particular is extremely difficult, even for those of us who really want to write. We have ideas, things to say, arguments to make, and yet . . .

It’s much easier to perform a task within the framework of school or work. It’s clear what must be done. For the most part, things get done. But when someone, someone with their own desires sets out to do something like writing, they frequently do not have that structure, that framework that school or work provides. Even if a writer creates goals, those goals are self-imposed. They’re easy to break, to slough off, to forget about.

Successful writers develop the habit of writing. They write every day. Every damn day. The habit of writing carries them over. But when you do not yet have that habit writing can be very difficult. It’s hard to let the words flow. There are so many starts and stops.

My advice is this: develop the habit. Write today, hard as it may be. Scribble out a few words. Spend an hour at it. Endure the pain. And then, tomorrow, do it again. Keep this up, day after day. Soon, probably within a few days, the writing will become easier. The pain will decrease. The words will flow more easily.

And then, keep it up.

There are no tricks, no easy solutions. You have to do the work. But if you do the work, the words will begin to pour out. You can then begin to think about writing better. But first, just write.

If you’re struggling with writing, please consider subscribing to my new venture, The Writer’s Whip newsletter.


Why Don’t Writers Write? by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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