It’s Hard to Be a Writer!

Last year, I went to the Editorial Freelancers Association conference in New York City. After the conference, I went out with two colleagues/friends, Christi McGuire and Kristen Steiffel, to see a Broadway play called Something Rotten. It’s a spoof of Shakespeare and musicals, and it was absolutely hysterical!

Christi recently sent me the soundtrack CD, and I’ve been listening to it a lot lately. One of the songs is especially funny for writers, so I wanted to share it with you.

To give you the background so you get what’s going on: The play takes place in Renaissance England, and William Shakespeare is the equivalent of the top New York Times best-selling author/rock superstar, constantly surrounded by fans who absolutely adore him … with one exception: an aspiring playwright who thinks Shakespeare is a hack and doesn’t understand why everyone else thinks he’s so great. And truth be told … Will’s fame has definitely gone to his head and made him a major egomaniac.

If you have a minute and want a laugh, go to and play the YouTube video. Here are a few lines that you might especially relate to:

My days are so busy it’s making me dizzy

There’s so much I gotta do.

There’s lunches and meetings and poetry readings

And endless interviews.


Then it’s back to my room, where I resume

My attempt to write a hit.

But it’s hard. So very, very hard.

So inconceivably, unbelievably hard.


And I know, I know, I gotta go

And get back to my pen and ink.

Oh don’t make me do it.

Don’t make me go through it.


What people just don’t understand

Is that writing’s demanding.

It’s mentally challenging.


You’re trying to find an opening line or a brilliant idea.

And you’re pacing the floor and hoping for just a bit of divine intervention.

That one little nugget, that one little spark.

Then Eureka! You find it! You’re ready to start.

So now you can write, right? Wrong!

You’re not even close.


You write down a word, but it’s not the right word.

So you try a new word but you hate the new word.

And you need a good word but you can’t find the word.

Oh, where is it, what is it, what is it, where is it?


It’s hard to alleviate the pressure to create.

It’s so incredibly hard. So unavoidably, unenjoyably hard.

It’s hard to be the bard.

So why do we do it? You know. Because God has called us to do this. And I think He often asks us to do things that are hard so we will have to trust Him to do it through us, because we can’t possibly do it on our own.

And if we do write what He wants us to write, and we go down the path He has laid out for us, the words He has given us to write will reach exactly the right audience and exactly the right time, according to His perfect plan.