The mythology about writers who love writing runs rampant in the online world. Many successful authors give interviews where they say they can’t live without writing, they have to write or they’ll go mad, and they live for those precious hours when they can sit down, in solitude and seclusion, and write themselves into the blissful creative zone for hours on end.
While I don’t doubt that these kinds of writers exist, there is also another reality for writers that is rarely acknowledged. Specifically, a lot of writers don’t enjoy writing. At all.
Now when I say “writing” in this instance, I mean the actual act of writing. The part of the process where you sit down in front of the blank page and you write out new words that have never been seen before in your story or article (or whatever it is) you’re attempting to write. For many writers—especially intuitive writers—this is the part that feels like torture. And “torture” covers a wide range of feelings.
For some writers, the act of writing feels boring and tedious. For others it feels scary and dreadful. And for some of us, it just plain feels hard. Either you can’t think of anything good to write, your inner critic won’t shut up, or time seems to have slowed to a crawl. And when the words finally do start pouring out, it can feel a little like purging, vomiting in a metaphorical sense. You feel amazing when it’s over, but when it’s happening, not so much.
What’s not talked about very often amongst writers is this dread and hatred of the act of writing. Most writers feel embarrassed, or ashamed, if they feel this way. Because after all, shouldn’t writers love writing? We think about it all the time, we talk about it all the time, we read books on it and join writing groups and communities, and tweet about it and study it and a hundred other things that are all supposed to help us become better writers and claim this form of art, this identity, that means so much to us. So…if we hate writing, like actually really hate sitting down in front of the page and slogging our way through a few hundred words, doesn’t that mean something is seriously wrong?
Well, no. More writers than you would guess don’t actually like the act of writing. I talk more about this in-depth in the video below, and how the dread and fear around writing can be overcome with one simple tool that I’ve used myself for over 14 years now:
I’m launching a new, live class this November specifically for writers who have problems writing. It’s designed to work as a support for people who are doing NaNoWriMo and also as an alternative for people who are not doing NaNo but would still like to be part of something, find community, and challenge themselves with their writing practice in the month of November. The new class is called the Creative Commitment Challenge and I’m really excited about it.
If this sounds like something you might be interested in joining, be sure to sign up for my newsletter HERE to get all the updates and announcements about the class as I release them. We’re going to be starting on November 1, just like NaNoWriMo, so be sure to keep an eye on your inbox so you don’t miss anything.
I’ll be releasing video 2 in this series in just a couple of days, all about why it’s so hard to carve out writing time and the biggest mistake writers make in this area when it comes to making the time to write on a regular basis. See you then!
Lauren Sapala is the author of The INFJ Writer and The INFJ Revolution. She is also currently offering a free copy of her book on creative marketing for INFJ and INFP writers to anyone who signs up for her newsletter. SIGN UP HERE to get your free copy of Firefly Magic: Heart Powered Marketing for Highly Sensitive Writers.