“I could write a book” he said to me with a smile, letting me know he was half teasing, half serious. My husband is a lot like me and thinks he can do pretty much anything without too many problems. It’s a serious condition I like to call “how-hard-could-it-be?-itis.” However, this time I knew the truth. Writing a book is hard.

Finished First Draft

I had just recently finished the first draft of my first fiction book and it had stretched me like crazy. Not only did it teach me a whole lot about writing, it also taught me this important lesson:

“You don’t know what it’s like until you actually do it.” 

It’s easy enough to criticize the last book you read, noting all its flaws and feeling quite confident that you could do much better. It’s a whole other story to put the pen to the paper (the fingers to the keyboard?) and actually do it. The same thing occurred to me when I started to learn the basics of photography, and again when I started teaching myself the introduction to photoshop and graphic design. Oftentimes, things that look easy from the outside looking in, turn out to be the effort of years and years of hard work and practice in that field.

Actually doing it has also helped me to do two more things:

#1 Have a lot more grace for others who are doing it. Whether its an author or some other profession, I know it’s hard work and I know what it feels like now to stare at that blank screen with nothing to say.

#2 Have a lot more respect for others who are doing it. Whether you’re an author, graphic designer, business owner, or something else, your job is hard and I respect that. I respect the knowledge you’ve learned and the hours and hours of practice you’ve put into your career.

These days, I’m trying to be better about assuming I can do everything (although I must admit, I’m always up for a challenge!). Trying new things definitely keeps me humble and reminds me that not everything is as easy as it seems.

What about you? Have you tried anything new lately? Let’s talk about your experience in the comments!