There are multiple versions of this quote, but it seems that the most widely accepted seems to be this one from Hemingway. "There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."
I've also found this one, from Gene Fowler, "Writing is easy: All you do it sit staring at blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead."
There are also multiple references to 'popping open a vein' and bleeding. Regardless, they are all true. Sometimes I bring about terrible cases of anxiety just by attempting to write.
"WHY WHY WHY won't the words just fucking form at the end of this pen (or pencil, or marker, or fingertips) as I type? I want to write so badly. Just a moment ago I had a head full of things that were waiting to be written. Now I'm sitting here staring at this paper/screen and nothing is coming. Why is nothing coming out? Where did the words all go? I'm wasting my time. I should just do laundry. Or dishes. Or knit. At least that's more productive than sitting here waiting for something that's not going to happen. But what if I put away the paper and start the dishes and then it hits me again?"
Other times it goes all the way to self-loathing.
"You really suck. Why do you even try? You know that your brain isn't shutting off enough to do this so you might as well just pick up your knitting and watch something on Netflix that will distract you from all the things you really want to do. You know, let someone else entertain you so that you don't have to work through this block. Just fucking give it up already. No one is reading your blog, no one is going to want to read your stupid book. Although there is a heinous murder involved, so of course people love that kind of drama. No just give up."
And round and round it goes.
There are moments, however, that the proverbial vein does pop wide open. And it bleeds, and bleeds, and bleeds, and before long there are pages and pages and the anxiety and self-loathing are suffocated and drowning in all the blood, and there are guts all over the paper. As if months of thoughts and ideas come swimming to the surface and is let out like a teenager who has been grounded for months is finally free from their restriction.
Both feelings are intense. Which makes writing not easy at all. Even when it is. It feels good when the flow comes, but when you are writing about things you experienced that weren't really pleasant, you have to go back to those places and feel those things all again. And even though it feels good to let them out, there's an enormous crash afterwards.
Writing is fucking hard.