Writing is difficult. Or so they say. I’ve never found writing to be all that difficult. Not this part, anyhow. This is the easy part. Feeling the keystrokes under your fingers and letting your mind flow just hoping the distractions will stay away long enough and the synapses fire quick enough for the thoughts to reach my fingers. The hard part of writing isn’t the writing itself. It is everything that happens around the writing. Mainly the before.
Writing is not difficult. Neither is exercising or eating healthy or hundreds of other activities that lead to self-improvement. The difficult part about those activities is starting. It is the conscience effort it takes to begin. The most difficult part of writing is sitting down to write instead of doing something else.
We live in a world full of distractions. More full of distractions than the world has ever been. Our distractions even distract us from our distractions at times. I am guilty of picking up my cellphone to look up something on the internet, opening Facebook, then Twitter, then staring at the phone in confusion trying to remember what it was I picked it up in the first place for anyway. No wonder it is so hard to sit down at the desk and start writing or hit the floor and do a few push-ups or grill up some chicken breasts to eat with green vegetables later or pack a lunch to go. None of these activities are difficult, but balancing our distractions and life around them and making time to do them is.
Writing has other challenges though. The first step in making anything less difficult is to create a conducive environment. With writing there are extra layers. I can’t just sit down and write. First there has to be an idea or at least a seed of an idea. Then I need to let that seed germinate in my mind. Roll it around in my head until it is more than an idea. Until it starts to sprout and a line or a thought emerges. Then it is time to type down that line and really let it grow.
I think different when I am writing. My mind is moving at a different pace. They say we can think 1,000 words a minute and even the best typist can’t touch that. I’m not sure that is true. As I am typing this the words are coming to me at the pace I am typing them. I am not sure is my mind is slowed down or my fingers sped up, but my thoughts and fingers are firing as one. The words enter my mind and find their way to my fingers and boom onto the screen in front of me.
This is the easy part. It has been nine minutes since I walked in this room. I started with a small thought. A thought about how it is the getting started that is difficult. That this process is not. The writing itself is the easy part. It is clearing space in our lives to give us those nine, ten, fifteen, or an hour or two to sit down and write. There is so much I need to work on. I have this blog, the book I am working on, my business blog, and then the second book I have marinating in my mind that I should be working on when the ideas aren’t flowing so easily for the first. There is a lot to do, but I have a business to run and babies to take care of. Easy excuses. All they are are excuses because as I said it has now been 12 minutes since I entered this room. 12 minutes I’d otherwise have been staring at my phone wondering why I’m staring at my phone and chiding myself for not doing something more productive.
Writing is not difficult. Sometimes all it takes is getting up off my butt, putting aside the distractions, and doing what I should be. For now though a baby is crying and my stomach is grumbling, and I’ve made my point.