I really didn’t expect it to be this hard.

Writers writing about writing always bothers me. With an almost limitless number of topics and ideas just waiting to be wrestled with through words combined into sentences separated by punctuation, the idea of writing about writing just seems so… shallow.

Several writers I have come across over the past few years have written about writing. They usually touch on topics like writer’s block, distraction-free writing environments, and how to get from nothing to something. As a non-writer, I always found these posts to be amusing but pointless.

And then, Ben asked me to guest edit his blog.

I’ve kept my own blog for a number of years now. The vast majority of the posts I’ve written are what have come to be known as “link posts”—short, usually effortless articles which link to another article that may or may not be interesting to a particular blogger’s readership. I write these because I truly care about sharing cool things with people. But, it is also true that without them my blog could potentially go months without seeing any new content.

That’s because an empty screen scares the shit out of me.

When I started writing here at The Brooks Review, I thought I would be churning out great posts every day, filling up your feed with awesome links, articles, quotes, and more. I think I’ve done an ok job, but it was much tougher than I anticipated. My last post—a look at a potential privacy issue with the Google Play store—took nearly an hour to put together. Not because the topic was difficult to understand, or that I spent much time researching other sources, but because what I wanted to say wasn’t coming easily. The last line, “Yeah, but guys… ‘Open’” was rewritten four or five times before I was satisfied.

My point is, this shit is hard. I really have no idea how people like John, Jason, Shawn, Kyle, Matt, and especially Ben do this seemingly every day.1

So, the next time you see another writer writing about writing, give them the benefit of the doubt. Chances are, they’re just as scared of the empty screen as I am.

  1. I’m embarrassed at how few female writers I read. I didn’t realize it until I put this list together. I initially tried to research female bloggers who write frequently, but then thought that wouldn’t be honest. So, honestly, I need to read more writing by women. Any suggestions?
Originally posted for members on: February 15, 2013
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