For most writers, the hardest part of writing is right here. It’s the start, the beginning, the opening.
It’s finding an idea, the first words, and the first sentence. All types of writing have a beginning, so it’s the same for every writer.
You might be writing a book, an article, a poem, or an essay. Yes, they are very different writing projects.
But they all start with a few words that can often be challenging to find.
How to beat the hardest part
Every writer learns how to overcome the dreaded blank page. It doesn’t matter if you use a pen and paper or write on a screen.
The New York Times published a terrific cartoon on the topic.
I’ve only shown the first and last slide above. But you can see the complete cartoon here, and I’m sure you’ll know the feeling.
You need to show up and write.
It’s always easy to find excuses and put things off for another day.
But it only forestalls the inevitable, so you may as well get on with it and grind out your first few words.
Every writer knows the feeling. But as soon as you find your first ten, fifteen, or twenty words, you are on your way.
Down the track, you will undoubtedly revisit these words when you move on to your second draft or editing stage.
So don’t worry about them when you start writing. Just get some words down so you can move your project forward.
What’s the easiest part of writing?
For me, it’s this part. The middle is easy once I’ve progressed past the first 100-200 words.
I might be working from an outline or simply a few notes. But by this time, the topic or plot is clear in my head, and the words flow very easily.
There are so many stages to the writing process, and every writer has an opinion about what is easy and what is difficult.
For some, it can be writing the first draft, the editing stage, or writing dialogue.
In a short article about aspects authors find easy, Michael Haskins says, “Oh, that’s easy, turning on the computer!”
Another easy part for me is researching because I enjoy discovering new ideas, facts, or interesting tidbits.
As a bonus, I sometimes stumble on something unrelated to my current project that gives me an idea for a new one.
I take a few notes that I know will help me overcome the hardest part when I get around to it.
So if there is an easy part to writing, I’d have to say that it’s the part between the beginning and the end.
Other writing challenges
You often read about writer’s block. But I’m not sure that there is a strict definition.
It can mean many things, such as being lazy, tired, demotivated, or lacking new ideas.
The most frequent advice is to take a break or push through it by fighting and scratching out more words.
I prefer the second option, even if it’s tough sometimes. When I push myself, the words might come slowly, but they always start to flow again.
While I think that the start is the hardest part of writing, the end is not far behind.
Whether you are writing the last line of a novel, or the summary of an essay, it can be challenging.
Sometimes the problem is knowing when to stop.
Something is wrong if I find myself including something new in an ending or conclusion. Then it’s time to revisit the draft.
One last and overriding challenge is to decide if your topic, subject, theme, or plot is worth reading.
Writing is one thing, but writing something that people will want to read is another.
Overcoming the writing challenges
Whatever you write, you will get there in the end.
If you are new to writing, learning how to keep the words flowing is just one part of becoming a writer.
The only way forward is to recognize your weaknesses and strengths and work on improving your skills and knowledge.
Quite simply, the more you write, the better you get at overcoming the challenges.
Every writer will have a different view or belief about the easiest or hardest part of writing.
In a sense, it’s not a big deal because all pursuits have challenging and easier components.
But if you can identify areas in your writing that cause you some difficulty, you can work on them and find solutions.
Being a writer can be a tough job at times.
Yet it is always so rewarding when you overcome the obstacles and difficulties and complete your project.
But my thoughts and ideas in this article might not be the same as yours.
So, what do you find is the hardest part of writing?