Why is it so hard?

I have been wondering why writing is so hard sometimes? This post is not about finding excuses for not being productive in meeting my writing goals. This post is a reflective post to see what went wrong for my AcWriMo last week. I kept thinking about how I did it last time before I submitted my dissertation and wondered why I felt it’s harder this time. I failed miserably to write in the morning or in the evening (and I also failed in my morning yoga routine last week). I really felt very bad and somehow demotivated. The few things that cheer me on were my good AcWriMo-ers on Twitter and seeing the AcWriMo spreadsheet with so many updates daily, even on weekends. It’s really very inspiring yet I still couldn’t produce desirable results. Something is terribly wronged with me, I guess.

My number one problem I found was my lack of focus. Whenever I tried to focus on a task on hand, my mind kept thinking of another task that I want to tackle. My pomodoros were filled with so many interruptions that I felt so bad about. I just couldn’t help myself to worry how many tasks I still haven’t completed. The more I thought about them, the more I felt bad about myself. That’s not all. I have so many non-writing tasks in the office (and people keep asking me to do various stuff) that these boggled the mind over the week.

However, I know very well that this problem is nothing new to me or others. I had experienced harder time before and I still did it at the end. All I need is probably some changes of strategy and most importantly not to give up. Writing this post sure gives me a better perspective of my (failed) writing habit. I just hope believing that I can do it will really help me doing it.


4 thoughts on “Why is it so hard?

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  1. Howard Becker’s “Writing for Social Scientists” has a fabulous chapter called “Risk” which I read many years ago but its message stayed with me. Writing is hard, because writing is risky. We run the risk of looking stupid, or finding out what we thought we thought isn’t in fact what we think, we run the risk of another person reading it and judging or misjudging us, we run the risk of not being able to say something or saying it wrong or saying it in a way that is offensive. So many risks.

    On the upside the chapter author (who, IIRC, isn’t actually Becker) points out that we are usually fortunate because some people will already know we are stupid! So get them to look at it first 🙂 Or realise that everyone’s first draft is terrible (see every Hemingway quote every written on this, ignore Stephen King). Or -as with AcWriMo – use the fact that you HAVE to get the words down as the way to trick your brain into not really caring whether they are ‘risky’ words or not. Done words are great words.

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