Sunday, September 13, 2020

Which Are Better - the Easy Scenes or the Hard Ones?


This is a band of smoke from the California fires streaming into New Mexico. It's fascinating what an obvious demarcation it makes in the sky. Compare this to where I am (the blue dot) on the smoke map. So happy to be in the blue sky section today!

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is the easiest scene we ever wrote and why. 

I have no idea what the answer would be for me - but I can tell you exactly why that's the case.

Easy writing or hard writing: doesn't matter and isn't worth thinking about. 

It's tempting to assign value to hard work. We grow up learning to focus effort and that hard work will be rewarded. We also celebrate talent and marvel at those people who accomplish amazing things when they're very young, challenged, or with brilliant ease.

So, we think: that was really difficult, so it must be valuable!
Or, we think: that writing poured out like clear spring water so it must be really good!

I'll tell you what I've learned. 

  1. The hard-to-write scenes are exhausting and make me want to pull my hair out and give up being a writer. 
  2. Those scenes that pour out are a sheer joy and making being a writer totally worth it.
  3.  When I go back over the writing later, I have no idea which was which. I can't tell the difference.
I can't tell you what was the easiest scene I ever wrote, much less why. There's no rhyme or reason to it. Some writing comes easy, some resists so hard that every word is like pulling a tooth. The only effect is on my attitude, so I do my best to remind myself of this:

Easy, hard, fast, slow - it's all progress and that's the only thing that matters.