Writing is difficult when you try something new. Writing is difficult when you write the first draft of a book. Writing is difficult when you’re fixing story problems. Writing is difficult when you have an idea you want to write about but there are several directions you could take it. Writing is difficult because it is a creative process.
Writing can also be difficult during revision. The fictional actors must have consistent characters. Everything else in the story must have consistency; settings, vehicles, time, and organizations. Spelling, grammar, and sentence structure must be checked. The word count must fit the target range. There are tough decisions about what to cut. These writing difficulties all require developing writing skills to overcome them.
All of these writing difficulties appear when we write something new. Reading how to write doesn’t give you everything you need to do the actual writing. Writing your first fight scene is tough. The next one gets a little easier. After a few dozen, it’s easy and fun. The same applies for any type of content creation. The first step by step guide to installing an appliance is tough. Additional guides become easier to write. And the same applies for the skill side of writing. You learn what your mistakes are by fixing them. They become easier to find and you make fewer of them.
Writers are a curious bunch. We did a lot of reading before we ever thought of becoming writers. We keep reading and learning after becoming writers. We open new fields to write about because of our desire to understand.
I often wondered why it was I made a lot of effort to learn each new job only to start looking for the next job after I had it mastered. I suspect now that it’s the writing personality. Learn it well enough to teach it to others, teach it, and move on to the next subject. It’s what we do.
Do non-fiction writers choose non-fiction as a result of being intellectuals or life-long learners? I think so. In order to write about something, you must first learn it. Having written everything you’ve learned on a subject, you must learn even more in order to continue with more books or else move on to your next subject.
Are novelists searching for their voice? Some say yes. Find your writing voice and that’s the type of writing you will do forever after.
I think it may be easier to describe the tons of fun transition with fiction. You write a crime novel, for example, and it does well. So you write another. If it also does well, you’ve found your genre. You can keep writing crime novels as you learn more about the genre. There are many kinds of weapons, police procedures, criminal groups, and individual criminals. Learning is still part of the job, but now you know how to do most of the work. Fun takes a lead in the effort.
Some novelists will write a whole series with the same main character. This works well when the character has been well developed and it’s an action series.
Subject experts write many texts about the same subject matter. When their subject is studied in colleges and universities, this is to be expected. There’s the big picture of their subject (the intro course) and several sub-topics that are also deep enough to make an entire book.
Why Writers Choose Difficult Over Fun
Writing continues to be difficult for most writers. We want to keep pushing ourselves to become better at our craft. Since we are also big readers, we also keep learning and that leads to new projects.
We learn more about our writing craft when we choose the difficult path.
Have you found a fun writing niche or are you also on the difficult path?