8 Things Non-Writers Don’t Understand

“Writing is a weird hobby.”

Tristin R. F. Worth (2017)

Let’s start by saying that I am not super popular. Sure I get along with other people and I’d like to think I am very friendly and helpful but I do not let people beyond arm’s length often. Because of this, I only have three very good friends in real life. Online I have a few more. What these select few all know about me is my love of cats and my love of a strange activity known as writing.

Writing is a strange and tedious hobby. For those of you who are familiar with the act, you might understand. It is a battle with yourself, your creativity and with your characters. Writing is hard work and sometimes I just don’t want to do it. Often times I can’t even come up with words to describe the color blue. Sometimes my characters just make decisions of their own. They can be stubborn little trolls.

Much of what writing is does not make sense to those who don’t take on the challenge. Here are 8 things non-writers don’t understand.

  1. Writing is hard work

When you sit yourself down at your computer (or notebook, I did that back when) the words don’t always flow. Sometimes you have to force them onto the page; delving into the deepest part of your soul to find any. Even then, they might sound nonsensical, crude or inappropriate. The act of writing is hard. Good writing is even harder.

  1. Wanting to write and not wanting to write

If this was Instragram, I would add a #struggle here. There truly can be an internal war between wanting to write and not wanting to write. Despite the tediousness of it all, writing can be very fun and pleasant to do. At the same time, it can be terrifying and a grand challenge. Sometimes stories end up in a corner and we have to get ourselves out. Perhaps we have a difficult piece of dialogue to write and it is not our strong suit (I am terrified of dialogue) or there is an epic plot twist coming that you don’t want to mess up.

  1. Writing is continuous

Even while away from the keyboard, the stories I am working on revolve around in my head in a nonstop motion. New plots and character traits spring up often that I  note down to put into my story along the way. I imagine scenes that have passed, scenes yet to come and scenes I could touch up in certain way. They are vividly in my mind and are on constant replay like a movie. Though I am not always consciously concerned with the stories, they are always looming. I never forget abouot them and so the process of expanding these stories is continuous.

  1. The ups and downs in self confidence

I dearly hope I am not the only one subject to this. Some days I have a lot of confidence (in my writing, that is) and feel like I can do fine and can write fairly well. Other days, I want to throw it all away and quit forever. This is not an exaggeration. Whether this comes from comparing myself to authors out there or whether it is a result of days when I just don’t know how to even make a simple sentence, I can’t say. All I can say is it is common for me to love my writing one day and hate it right after.

  1. Those lovely words

Most writers have phases during which certain words are just so damn lovely to them. For a long time, I was a fan of the word ‘pedantic’ and much further back, I stuck the word ‘semi’ in front of everything I said to give it a hint of ambiguity. Words are, after all, an art and knowing more of those words and practicing the integration of them into sentences can really help as a writing exercise. As of late however, I am not sure what my current favorite word is.

  1. Writing alien characters

I do not mean actual space aliens, though they could fall into this category. What I mean is that it canbe very difficult to write characters who are so different from yourself. Not only do characters need personality traits, they also need motivations, a voice, values, a goal and many other assets. I personally find it very difficult to write characters who have highly different values than I have; especially if they conflict with my own. My example is Kyar; a young woman who loves the prospect of marriage and children. A prospect like that makes me shiver, at the very least.

  1. Pools of knowledge

Writers try to tap into countless pools of knowledge to try to make their stories believable. For example, my Google search history contains countless search terms about how fast someone would die from an arrow hitting certain parts of the body, whether blood can boil and whether helium can be exploded through the application of heat or fire. I also googled ‘shades of red’ or ‘shades of blue’ to see a list of those colors and an image of what that particular color was to better describe things.

  1. Despite it all, it is still an amazing thing to engage in

The tedium, the internal wars, the complications in the stories, the lack of skill and much other things do not hold me and many others back. Despite all of the difficulties, writing is such a treasure. Every creation is unique. Every writer has a voice all its own. No one can write the scenes in the same way that another person can. The hobby is popular, yet it remains so unique. Besides, if people gave up, I would not be able to lose myself in worlds beyond our own when reading books. They are humble gifts to the world.

May destiny be kind to you.