The most difficult writing I've ever faced

I set aside this corner of my website for updates related to my work and life inasmuch as it's relevant to you, my readers and community, rather than regular blog posts. I seem to have neglected it until now. I still send out a structured newsletter at the beginning of each month, so when I post here, I'll keep my thoughts as brief and conversational as possible. I imagine many of these posts will be spontaneous, as is this one.


As I write, I find myself in the most difficult stretch of story-telling I've ever faced. This is not writer's block or wrinkles in my outline, no. It's different. More emotional and physical than mental. An ache on the inside as persistent as it is subtle. I suppose I felt the need to talk about the matter with like-minded creatives and story-lovers who are bound to understand better than most in the hopes of finding some peace of mind. There aren't many such people in my immediate circles, and posting cryptic Tweets felt like a rather 'angsty' thing to do, so here we are.

So again--here I am, under-caffeinated and treading water in the most difficult stretch of story-telling I've ever faced. Why? Well, I know exactly why.

First off, I'm writing the final three chapters of The Broken City of Crows, a project I've been sharing on Wattpad since last spring yet slowly developing for over five years. Standard curtain-call emotions, I know.

Secondly, and far more poignantly, I've come to certain parts of the narrative that I've dreaded for years, and now that I'm writing them, they're hitting me harder than I anticipated. I won't change my mind regarding these events, for all I've tried to talk myself into it. This is, and always has been, how the story was meant to end. That's not to say it's all doom and gloom; I promise I believe in happy endings once they're earned. But no amount of outlining or planning prepared me for just how draining these chapters have become. The writer suffers more than the reader. No secrets there.

Thirdly, I'm an introvert with melancholic tendencies. Don't get me wrong, I'm no Eeyore. It's just very hard for me to express my creative feelings out loud (hence this post) and difficult moments in my story have an immediate and palpable effect on me. The tougher the moment is to write, the tougher it is for me to bounce back.

Lastly, I haven't slept well in some time. Some of you will remember the minor health issue I had at the beginning of the month. That's over and done, but I wrote the first of the four final chapters a few days ago and didn't sleep much for a few nights because of its impact on me. Now, as I outline and take notes for the last three chapters, assorted circumstances contribute to my lack of sleep. Trivial matters for the most part, but those factors start to stack up.

The combination of these realities has caught me rather off-guard, and to be honest, I feel a bit overwhelmed. But I believe in my story, and I know with certainty that the end-result will be worth this struggle. I knew, to a degree, what I was getting into when I penned the first words of The Broken City of Crows so long ago.

Please don't misunderstand me. This post isn't a woe-is-me cry. I'm not trying to rake in sympathy. I know creatives as a whole go through tough times for the sake of their art. But I think it helps me to get my thoughts on paper, as it were. Perhaps this is the closest I'll get to keeping an actual journal.

As such, I'll do my best not to let so much time slip by before I share another update. Don't worry; I promise the next one will be more upbeat. Those of you who only know me through Twitter aren't used to this part of me!

Stay creative.
Nate