What Does it Feel Like to Be a Writer

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Article by Wendy McCance

I must start this off by stating that each person is different and each experience is felt differently by each individual, so I can not speak for all writers, only myself.  This is my personal experience with writing.

I would never call writing a hobby, something I am passionate about or even something that fulfills me.  For me, writing is a necessity.  It is like an itch that needs to be scratched. It drives you crazy until you scratch the spot and feel satisfaction because the itch went away.

I can compare writing to making a list.  I will think about the responsibilities I need to accomplish over and over in my head because I am afraid I will forget what I need to get done.  Once I write it down on a list, my brain relaxes and I can move forward.  The thought is out there, won’t be forgotten and isn’t interrupting my stream of thought.  With writing, I will get an idea in my head that expands with time.  I begin having this running commentary as though I am reading a book.  Until I write my thoughts out on paper, the thoughts will repeat themselves and drive me crazy until I can get them out of my head.

It’s rewarding to see a well written piece on paper, but it is rare that I am satisfied with what I wrote.  Many times I would like to delete what was written, but I am too fascinated with what I was trying to express to take away from that moment in time that was so intense and important to me.

Writing is breathing for me.  It is just something I must do to survive.  When I stop writing, my senses dull and I lose a sharpness to the intricacies of what is going on around me.  My focus is off and I feel like a part of me is hibernating.

The most frustrating and painful periods of time are those times I have writers block.  It comes and goes and sometimes last months.  I refuse to try and work through it like many writers will.  I have attempted the excercise and found that it feels disingenuous to put on paper a forced thought.  It’s like talking.  Why must you force a conversation?  Sometimes silence is more enlightening.  Think about all you can absorb by sitting quietly and taking in what surrounds you without a word.  So much more can be learned in a quiet moment than when there is pressure to force a few sentences out of your mouth.

I don’t like the periods where I feel I have nothing to say, but I do embrace and respect this time as I feel it is a time where reflection is needed just to be able to create some words down the road that have meaning and depth and that people might care to read.

This is what it feels like for me to write.  If you are a writer, I would love to know what your experience is like.  Can you relate or is your process much different?  Let me know in the comment section below.


Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]

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5 thoughts on “What Does it Feel Like to Be a Writer

  1. Wendy - you have described what being a writer is like perfectly - at least you have captured what it is like for me (and I choose to call myself a writer, no matter how loosely I use that term).
    I care about the words I use, even when simply replying to an email or message or adding a comment on FB or other social media sites. It hampers me at times, I’m sure, to not be able to simply write and let go of my words immediately, but it is something I’ve had to come to terms with as being part of who I am and of what makes me - me.
    Thanks for the post. It’s great to know I’m not alone out there! Happy New Year to you.

  2. I often read your articles and appreciate what you go through in your own life to write. I find that when I don’t write, there is something missing. Writers block is something we all share in common, or so I think. I personally know it’s time to write, when the inspiration, wakes me up and I can’t get back to sleep that night. Regards and Be Well!

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