It's an old adage, but it's true. The hardest part about writing, is writing. For one, it's difficult finding the time. Like most writers, I have a full-time job. So, I have to balance my writing life with work, family, and social commitments. At the end of the day, plopping my butt in front of the laptop to muddle my way through the complicated love life of my heroes seems more than daunting; especially when I have two cats who'd rather I sit in the recliner so they can snooze comfortably in my lap.
Still, sleeping cats are an obstacle which can be overcome thanks to something called a “can opener.” However, then there is the blank page, that imposing sight of white expectation. I'm sure I have nothing new to offer on the concept writer’s block. For me it’s staring stupidly at my laptop while characters and ideas collide so hard in my head blocking any meaningful attempt to pour forth a coherent spattering of words. Writer's block is more like a sitting quietly at the end of the table during Thanksgiving and listening to both sides of the family squabble about who said what at last year's dinner. At some point everyone will get hungry enough to settle down and say grace, but until then it’s just noise with nothing meaningful said.
However, writing is an act of persistence. You can't do it without pushing past the distractions, the writer's block, and the ever present self-doubt. It's part of the process, and when you do, that's the where the fun begins. That's when you have those moments where you can hear your characters as if they are whispering, or sometimes shouting, in your ear. Those are those times when ideas pop so unexpectedly and magically, you laugh aloud startling the dozing cat on the edge of your desk. It's when you can't imagine wanting to do anything else.
Yet, that becomes the hardest part of all. Once you step away from those pages which almost seem to write themselves and left you feeling you could do this forever, you need to hang on to the memory of those moments. You need to have faith you’ll write like that again, because it all starts over from one sitting to the next. The work of writing isn’t writing. It’s all you have to do leading up to it.