Monday, July 15, 2013


Writing is hard.

I write a lot. Like, a lot a lot. Between writing things on this site, little articles for City Weekly, long articles for SLUG Magazine, quick posts and long rants on Tumblr, jokes on Twitter, freelance copy writing and SEO copy writing and blog posts (at my actual, day to day job), I spend at least 4 or 5 hours a day writing stuff.

It's fairly easy, and some days things flow easier than others but that's because it's all mostly non-fiction. I have a pretty good handle on journalistic and essay-style writing. I also feel like I have a few things to say every now and then, so I spit them out on the Internet and hope for the best. I don't worry too much about it and people generally seem to enjoy what goes out there.

You know what's not so easy? Fiction.

Fiction writing is way harder to do (and do well) than any form of word vomiting that I do.

That's actually why I'm writing this post right now. I was stuck on something else - a short story I'm toying with for a zine - and I'm hoping that switching gears for minute will get things back on track. I could lie and tell you that I expended all my energy writing 1800 words about pool maintenance this morning, but that would be a lie. That was easy.

But I think I've figured out what it is that makes writing fiction so hard. I've probably always known this but just never wanted to admit it, but more than hard, writing fiction is scary.

The things I ramble about on here are my opinions and worldview, if you don't like it, I don't really care. We probably wouldn't get along anyway.

But when you write fiction, it's a lot like writing a song. You're putting your creativity into something for the entertainment of others. That's scary because there's a chance that everyone might think what you're doing is just terrible.

I have no problem letting people read articles, blog posts and whatever other non-fiction work I do. It gets thrown into the world with very little second thought.

Creative stuff, though? Most of that never sees the light of day. I've started a bunch of movie scripts that very few people have read. I've written comics that no more than 3 people have ever seen. There have been short stories that were only read by complete strangers that I was fairly certain I'd never see again. There are poems sitting in a folder that met the same fate as the short stories, save for one or two people that I still see.

I'm working to change that. Not sure if it'll get done, but I'm trying.

It's hard to do, but whenever I think about it for too long, I just remember the advice of the great Jimmy Dugan:

"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard everyone would do it. It's the hard that makes it great."

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