Writing is hard, but worth it, says Sue Grafton

Manuscript update: Nothing new to report yet as I haven’t had a chance to work on my new book since yesterday.

Sue Grafton headshot

Sue Grafton

But I wanted to share a link to a great interview with prolific mystery writer Sue Grafton (the alphabet series). In the Writer’s Digest article, Grafton explains that she finds writing hard with each book.

I take writing terribly seriously, and sometimes that just gets in my way. … I keep thinking, Uh-oh, this is going to be the book that does me in. So that frightens me so desperately that I get into a panic when I should shut my mouth and get on with it.

About how much she knows about the journey her character is going to take, she says:

You have to understand, this is a form of mental illness. I fully own it. In my mind, I am only privileged to know what she chooses to share, and she assures me that some things are just not my business, thank you. I don’t tell her. She tells me. I discover things about her in the process of writing. I don’t have a great scheme afoot. I try to keep honest, I try not to repeat myself. I try to let her evolve as she will, not according to my dictates. It’s a very odd process.

And her advice for new writers:

Give yourself time to get better. Writing is really hard to master. You learn by failing over and over.

I love writing and find it very rewarding, but, like many of us, I often find it hard to keep the doubts away. It’s good know that it affects even the most successful of authors. We’re not alone, but like Grafton, we have to keep going, keep working, keep writing. It is worth it.

What ails you in your writing?

Write On!

One Response

  1. Natalie Aguirre says:

    Thanks for the great post. It is nice to know even an experienced writer has doubts because I have them everyday, even though like you, I find writing rewarding.

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