Most challenging parts of being a writer

There are definite challenges to the path of being a creative writer. A lot of them are so widely agreed as horrible, that most humans are against the entire profession because of them!

I love when I’ll meet a new human and I tell them I’m a writer, and they’ll immediately tell me how the have an idea for a screenplay or a novel and any day now it might come out, but who has the time, it’s so hard to find the time to start, much less finish, if only someone would just pull the idea out of their brain and put it on paper!

What they’re really saying is, it is too hard to stay motivated on a solo project when there is no guarantee of the reward you seek. It’s a mystery, hoping your creativity and determination will produce art. Oh yes, writing can be like entering a desert and hoping you’ll find treasure AND make it to the other side alive! Without any guarantee of either of those outcomes!

I think people love to idealize the ending of having a completed work they put their soul into, but have no stamina for the journey, no confidence they can survive the pits and steep hills. It is hard getting through the creative desert of your mind! And the writer’s block? The imposter syndrome? Your inner critic? It’s not cute, waking up in panic that your story is actually crap and you have no taste and readers will laugh when they see your attempts at storytelling. But yes, that’s all there in the desert, waiting to be found like a quicksand!

the quicksand is scary. but you can survive, writer. Yes! You can!

But you can get out of this quicksand, it will not kill you. And that’s the secret to being a writer, it’s a solo battle of wits, you vs you, but the journey will not kill you. Determination. That’s what I say when people ask how I get through the challenges of being a writer. Like the little engine that could, I think I can I think I can…until I did!

And the rewards of being a writer? Wow, they are lovely, even thrilling. To feel like you pulled someone else’s consciousness into a story that was previously only inside your head is something magical! To realize you can accomplish a passionate goal, craft something that had never been in existence before? Miraculous! Being a writer is a wonderful adventure. Somehow, even though others may not even risk to try, the challenges only make the rewards even sweeter.

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Yodassa Williams is a powerful conjurer of black girl magic (70% Jedi, 30% Sith). A Jamaican American writer, speaker, and award winning performing storyteller, alumna of the VONA/Voices Travel Writing program and creator of the podcast ‘The Black Girl Magic Files’, Yodassa (Yoda) launched ‘Writers Emerging' in 2019, a wilderness writing retreat for women of color and non-binary people of color. In 2020, Yodassa's debut YA Fantasy, The Goddess Twins, will be published by Spark Press. She grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and currently resides in the Bay Area.

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