This week in The HackerNoon Blogging Fellowship, we discussed what we find most difficult about the writing process, as well as methods and tools we use to overcome those struggles.
This Slogging thread by Limarc, Amy Shah, Linh, David, Tirtha, Marc Magrini, Blake Cram, Adrian Morales, Lorf and Amy Eastland occurred in HackerNoon's official #fellowship-central channel, and has been edited for readability.
What is the hardest thing about the writing process for you and how do you get over it?
I find writing in a journal regularly helpful in creating a writing habit. Daily writing is sometimes hard for me so I decided to start writing in a Five Minute Journal (http://intelligentchange.com). When I wrote in the Five Minute Journal format, I started wanting to write for longer time periods. Even if I did not have time to write for more than 5 minutes, it felt good to accomplish a small journal entry in the Five Minute Journal that day.
I totally agree. I used to write a journal but “got too busy” I want to get back to it. Do you have a mobile app you recommend? I’ve been using a notepad app but I guess it isn’t good enough because I even stopped writing my 5 minute daily journals
For me, the hardest thing of the process was actually self-promotion and learning how and where to do that. Social media is obviously one place to do it but starting from scratch is long and hard (but as writers we gotta hustle).
Forums and Facebook Groups type places have also been quite successful for me in the past as well.
The Pandemic led me to find the Five Minute Journal. I will stay I have a lot more time to do this journaling because of the Pandemic.
I think I’ll get one! It looks manageable for sure even with a busy schedule.
Probably keeping myself accountable. If I set my mind to it I can work on a story in less than 1 hour. It’s the getting started that’s hard and not the finishing for me.
To combat that, I just lower my own barrier to entry of what is “worth-writing” and what’s not. Anything can be worth documenting.
Impressionism for example was an art genre that stemmed from artists be tired of the Renaissance era’s, for lack of better words, “perfectionism”. And it then proceeded to produce some of the best artists of all time, like Claude Monet.
So I write write write.
"Hmm, okay I got my notepad open...but what do I write about" -
Sometimes being clueless about what's worth writing & sharing gets me frozen. Understanding what people want to know & wish to read is a challenge for me. Till now, the only thing that's helped is to keep the chaotic flow of words coming in,
... out of that (kind of brute force mechanism), an idea pops out.
type type type backspace backspace type
For me, the hardest part of the writing process can be finding the right words. I always want to be careful about repeating what I say, and about how well others are able to read my writing in general. I usually end up trying to perfect what I write in one sentence before moving to the next, which sometimes makes my writing take longer than it could otherwise. Even so, it's better for writing to be refined rather than rushed.
I typically get tripped up by the editing process. I think it's difficult to have the discipline to cut out sentences/ideas that you personally enjoy, that ultimately detract or distract from the idea you are trying to share. It's not fun to "destroy" some potentially good ideas, but it's crucial for the cohesion and clarity of writing. What helps me is to take sentences/ideas that I really like, yet don't make the cut, and copy them to a side "dump" document. A little maniacal yes, but I've found those ideas can sometimes be used later, or can spark a new idea that fits better. I get really attached to my writing, so this practice helps me ease the pains of editing, while giving me space for new or improved ideas.
that’s exactly what David does. I’m a trasher- things go into ether, but David keeps all of his cuts
I would say that the hardest part for me is making sure that everything will flow nicely. I’m a natural scatter-brain and it’s often reflected in my writing and speaking. Oftentimes my first draft looks like I fired a shotgun filled with words and opinions at the screen just because there’s so much I want to say. Creating outlines, taking notes as thoughts go in and out, and making A LOT of drafts has helped me ensure that I have a piece that flows well.
The hardest thing about writing for me is actually sitting down and doing it. I love writing, and once I am in a groove it comes easy, but getting myself to sit down and dedicate time is a whole process. Another thing I find difficult is revising- once I write something, I usually can't bare to read it more than twice or then I get sick of myself.
For me, the hardest part of the writing process is either getting started and getting those initial words down, or keeping a solid structure that makes sense. The beginning and the end is always the hardest for me. The middle is super easy!
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