It’s All Uphill Till the End

Currently listening to “Desire” by Do As Infinity.

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Today I had the pleasure of eating lunch with the library director for my undergrad university’s library, who was my supervisor during the four-ish years I worked in the library and is a personal friend of mine now. She had come to Austin for a librarian’s convention, and since I missed seeing her the last time I was in her “neck of the woods,” I definitely wasn’t going to miss the chance to see her while she was in my own hometown.

While waiting for our food to arrive, she told me about the convention and some of the things that were going on at the library, and I told her about my school and work. Somewhere along the way, we got to talking about writing, and she mentioned that she was considering trying her hand at creative writing. She then asked me what I considered to be the hardest part of the writing process.

I had to think about this one for a moment. Even for those of us who have an unhealthy addiction to writing, there are always times when we feel like the end product isn’t worth the struggle put into it. At least, I have yet to meet an author who has never had at least one day where he or she felt like it was a struggle just to get a sentence completed. What an author considers to be the “hardest part” of writing, however, varies widely from person to person and moment to moment.

After some thought, I told her that I thought probably the middle was the hardest part for me. And usually, it is. For me, I’m really good at coming up with ideas. I can concoct an explosive intro or a climactic and dramatic ending in my sleep, but that middle part…that’s where it gets me. And once I get to that middle part, writing begins to feel less like a hobby and more like a chore.

For a writer like me, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by that invisible mountain peak which is the middle of my story, all the details and intricacies that have to be crafted just right to smoothly transition from that grand beginning into that dramatic ending and somehow compel my audience to keep reading the whole way through. It is something that can easily become overwhelming.

I think that what keeps writers like me going forward through all of that, though, is the thought of how good we know it will feel when we finally finish that middle mountain peak and begin rolling like a freight train toward the end. The feeling of accomplishment when I finally hold that book in my hands makes all those hours of sweat and tears worth the effort, even though I inevitably forget how much effort goes into writing a quality piece when I start the next project and wonder, “Am I gonna ever get through this?”

So if you’re like me and struggling through the middle of your project right now, just remember that the end result will be well worth the effort put into it now. Also know that you’re not alone. Just keep moving forward until you see the other side.

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