Writing against the Wind

Yesterday afternoon, I fought with 25 mph gusts on my way to the coffee shop for some writing and editing time. The morning was crisp and clear, but as soon as I left the house, the winds came a-roaring. I started pedaling anyway, and when I first hit the resistance in the air, I momentarily questioned my resolve to ride the next 3.5 miles in such conditions.

But the sun was shining, and dang it, I was ready to write. So I kept going and had a productive two hours before the breezy ride back—a tailwind this time.

So what’s the point here? Well, I think as beginning and intermediate writers, it can feel like we are writing against wind. There’s so much resistance in our lives that prevents us from just sitting down to write—distractions and that distracting voice in your head. Or if not that, then the shifting currents of the publishing industry, the prevailing attitudes our friends and families have about our efforts, the sheer odds we face of ever getting our work out there.

There are so many reasons to not pick up the pen and write. So when we do, there’s a lot of stuff we have to write through. But we have to keep going, no matter what. We have to keep going and not stop. Until one day, one day when the winds die down, when we reach the top of the hill, and it’s all downhill from there. Smooth sailing.

Sometimes that freedom comes from small victories (positive feedback from readers, story acceptances, or getting an agent). But I also think developing confidence in your craft can get you to that point without all those external factors—the assurance that you are getting better each day you commit to being a writer.

It can be a hard slog, no lie. And some days will be worse than others. But to feel the wind in your hair and know it’s not holding you back but urging you on?

I hope we all reach that place.

Happy writing!
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