Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Writing Isn't Hard by Trevor Bryan
I’m excited to say that in December my first book comes out. It’s a dream come true for me and I am beyond grateful that I have been given this opportunity. I know that many of you reading this post may have a similar dream and so I wanted to take this opportunity to share one of the lessons I learned that helped me get my book out of my brain and onto the page. This is it: Writing isn’t hard but it is terribly, excruciatingly, unbelievably time-consuming.
It takes time to figure out ideas. It takes time to figure out a writing routine that works well. It takes time to dump your ideas onto the page, to craft a good lead, to figure out a structure, to clean it up, to share it, to receive feedback, to process the feedback and to revise your writing based on that feedback.
It took me countless hours to reread my work, to figure out where my writing wasn’t working and how to revise it. Long runs that lasted over an hour became an essential part of my writing process. When I couldn’t get a paragraph or section to achieve the clarity I desired, I’d strap on my running shoes (as soon as I had time) and let my feet do my thinking. Much of my writing time, like when running, wasn’t spent at a keyboard.
All in all, my book took me about four years to write. During this time, I had many discussions with people about how hard writing is. This belief was prominent. But when I rejected the belief that writing is hard and simply accepted that writing takes a really, really, really long time, I stopped beating myself up over garbled sentences, disconnected paragraphs and less than impressive word counts.
Writing, like all creative work, isn’t about good work or bad work. It’s about doing the work. Give yourself, give your work all the time it needs. Be patient. If you are, you might just find, writing isn’t as hard as you’ve been told it is.
Trevor Bryan has been an art teacher for 20 years in New Jersey. His mission is to help all students to explore, find and share their unique voices. He is co-founder of the popular education blog, Four O"Clock Faculty and is a consultant for best-selling author, Peter H. Reynolds's education company, FableVision Learning. Trevor's first book, The Art of Comprehension: Exploring Visual Texts to Foster Comprehension, Conversation and Confidence is due out this December through Stenhouse Publishing.
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