Battlefield? Really, K.T.?

Why does writing feel like a battle? Many creatives I follow on social media post memes and quotes about ‘wrestling with their books’ or ‘struggling’ with words or ideas. I’ve even spotted some of you who use this theme in your account name. I’m one of the guilty posters. Nearly every morning, I enter my writing zone, only to lament that I’ve got nothing good to say. Or worse, I perform a series of rituals to make the environment right, which would probably seem insane to anyone else. And without fail, spend more time doing things other than writing.

The master gives advice.

Stephen King talks about creating the right space for your work in his book, ON WRITING. He has a handful of suggestions to help with the flow of creativity. He also has pointers on how to corral the elusive Muse. But even he doesn’t have a de facto method. So why do we do what we do if we liken our craft to war or fighting?

It’s not difficult, necessarily.

Well, first off, writing itself is not difficult. I’m putting down letters, one after the other, on the screen right now. I’m already over one hundred words. It wasn’t so hard. Yet, when I go back and re-read what I just wrote or pause to consider what should come next, the voice inside my head makes me reconsider everything I just typed.

They’re coming to take me away! 

And therein lies the problem. The infamous voice. Not that long ago, if you told someone there were voices in your head, they’d call someone, and a couple of guys in white coats would show up at your doorstep with a special coat of your own and take you away. The more people discovered how common it was to hear that incessant nag however, the less likely that was to happen. I believe that’s why practices like yoga and meditation have become so popular. As part of our evolution, humans have figured out that much of our own misery is created within. To be fair, there is much external misery, too, but if you really boil it down, that conflict came from someone’s thoughts. Practices like yoga and meditation help quiet the voice, but it doesn’t stop it altogether. Thus, we wage the war, and the struggle continues.

Pesky expectations.

I believe one cause is our own unfair expectations of the quality of our work. I’d argue this is not even limited to writers or creatives in general. Maybe even everybody. It’s about the assumptions of our own talent, our ability to do something great, and to get recognized for it. We are striving for this level of perfection based on a subjective opinion we have formed of those in our industry who have already ‘made it.’ We see what someone else has, we naturally want it, but instead of taking action, we moan on how hard it will be or how much work it is. That we are not enough.

Let the battle begin!

I’d like to start a new battle.  A battle against that voice.  I want to raise up our collective thought ‘arms’ and tell the voice, WE ARE ENOUGH.  Nobody can write like you, so stop expecting to be like so-and-so famous writer.  You are enough to sit down and write a few hundred words.  I bet they’ll even make sense.  For many of us, I bet they’ll rock right from the start.  If not, that’s ok.  Keep going.  As with anything, practice makes perfect…whatever that is.


© K.T. George 2024 | This post was first seen on


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Perspective: Writing is a Battle(field)

One thought on “Perspective: Writing is a Battle(field)

  • August 17, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Love the pic you used for this. As a wanna-be writer, these were great tips. Thanks!


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