Writing is so hard!

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I’ve been painting lately. And I love it. For me, it is not as hard as writing. But I like writing. And I want to write. But it seems like such an endless process. With a painting I’m done at some point. With a story, I can go back and revise and revise. I like to write blogs, because they are done when they are done. But right now, I’m writing on a novel and that is HARD!

I believe there is more thinking involved with writing or perhaps, your critic sits closer to your ear; for me, I always hear the critic. I do think about what to paint before I get started, but to lean in and let form, shape, color, take over is cool! How do I lean in to my writing? I would like to know.

To paint is solitary. To write is solitary. But I have found that I need writing partners more than I need painting partners. I know many artists and we get together socially and we meet at Art Fairs, at exhibits, at art fundraisers and so on, but I don’t meet socially with writers – with them I meet professionally. To help each other out. To critique each other. To read each other’s work.

As a writer you DO NEED a reader. Unmistakably. But as a painter you can manage without the viewer until you’re done. You follow what you like and paint it. Then it is up to the viewer whether (s)he likes it. In writing you are faced with more rules: word choice, grammar, syntax, show instead of tell, and so on…it is difficult but very worth while.

By the way, my painting above is called “Let it Rain” and the paint brushes are raining down through the mouth of ? a being ! symbolizing just to let art flow through you. The silhouette on the right is the director, the critic, the one that thinks she knows…and the figure to the left is the human swallowed by faith, by belief, that there is only one way…


  1. Thank you so much, Mike! I appreciate that you led me to RemodernReview. Perfect for me. And very kind of you!

  2. Thanks to you both! I like how you say “symbolizing just to let art flow through you.” I always say at my best I am a conduit-the best I can do is get out of the way of the energy is using me as a vessel for communication.
    And writing IS much harder than painting 🙂

  3. I love your art work, Elizabeth, although I don’t have aspirations to paint myself. As for writing… You are right when you say it’s a solitary business (as is art) and that we need readers. Oddly enough, I don’t let anyone read my books until I’ve finished, so I suppose I’m different to many other writers in that respect. The first person to have read either of my books so far was the professional editor I use. Somehow I can’t bear anyone else to become involved until that’s done. Thank you for the interesting post 🙂

  4. You are so right, writing is HARD work. I forget that in the first full flush of writing, when, as another commentator above put it, I’m a conduit giving birth to something apart from me. I love that feeling of the words, ideas, characters flowing through me. But then when it comes to shaping what has been given me into a novel, consciously bringing that closer and closer to the spirit that moved through me in a way that others will relate to and “get,”–that’s hard, and sometimes frustrating and overwhelming. I’m at that stage now in my novel with all the editing and revisions.

    Lately I’ve been drawn to painting too, something I’ve never done before, just to get away from “words.” To create without words seems so clean and simple. But I’m finding that capturing in paint what inspires me is equally difficult, but not so frustrating, because no one has to “like” it but me. I’m not trying to be an artist in the way I’m trying to be a writer who publishes.

    • Deborah, I appreciate your comment and yes, you are so right on in what you are saying! Actually, I have been quite ahead of myself and thinking too much about the editing and revision as I write along and not letting the characters flow through me. I need to get back to the intuitive writing. Therefore, I paint instead, to loosen up!

  5. People often think that writing is a very solitary profession. But the truth is, we may write on our own but we cannot exist without others. That makes us (or should make us) sociable beings.
    Either way, you are right. And coming to think of it, you’ve probably stumbled upon a good way to take a break from long, novel writing. Doing something that requires a shorter time to be completed is a great idea to balance your time!

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