20 Things Harder Than Writing

20 Things Harder Than Writing

When you’re facing a blank screen or a blank page with a blank mind, writing can feel like the most challenging occupation on the planet.

When you’re up against a deadline and you feel as though you’ve suddenly lost the ability to craft a coherent sentence, composing even the most basic text can be overwhelming.

I know. I’ve been there.

I have dozens of half-finished blog posts and nearly as many uncompleted short stories. I jump in with a great idea, lose focus halfway through, convince myself that my work is garbage, and give up.

“This is too hard!” I cry. “I’ll never be a writer!”

Then I grab a bag of potato chips, sit in front of the TV, and wallow in misery and self-loathing.

I need to fix this. I need to pull it together. I need to break this cycle and play through the pain.

I need to write!

In an effort to combat the notion that writing is the most difficult thing ever, I’ve come up with a list of tasks that I believe are more challenging, dangerous, and in some cases, stupid. I plan to pull out this list anytime I need a reminder to suck it up and finish the project I’m writing.

It could be worse. I mean, at least I’m not…

1. Wrestling a bear.


2. Trying to walk on water.

3. In labor.

4. Recovering from labor.

5. Walking a tightrope with nothing below to break my fall.


6. Juggling knives.

7. Landing a plane full of passengers in the Hudson River.

8. Landing a plane full of passengers anywhere.

9. Eating fire.

10. Fighting fires.


11. B.A.S.E. jumping off the side of…well, things people shouldn’t be jumping off the side of.

12. Driving a bus for hours at a minimum speed of 50 m.p.h. to ensure it doesn’t blow up and take the lives of all passengers.

13. Crab fishing.

14. Finding and clearing landmines.

15. Climbing communication towers.

16. Using any number of power tools that would undoubtedly kill me.


17. Fighting zombies.

18. Attempting to solve a decades-old murder mystery.

19. Knowingly eating my last meal.

20. Blindly feeling my way around a darkened house while a serial killer stalks me.

Just writing these 20 items has made me more confident in my ability to pull off a decent story or post! Now, time to put down the chips and start writing.


A version of this post first appeared in Writing Together

Finding My Tribe

Finding My Tribe

What Not to Say to a Migraineur

What Not to Say to a Migraineur