I’m excited to be back. A while ago I moved into a new home and decided to consider it a time to start fresh. I took a break and figured a few things out. Some about me and others about who I want to be. What it boils down to is that in order to be a good writer I need to love writing again. I got on the grid, then off, and now on again to figure this out. Being back on the grid meant floods of information and advice. Some positive, most (sadly) negative.
That’s why I decided to write this post. There was one article in particular that caught my attention. It was about how writer’s shouldn’t write just to write, that writers are expected to have sound reasons for writing and near flawless composition. I disagree. I think sometimes writers need to act as the readers and just enjoy what they write. They also need to write for writing’s sake. I know it sounds counter productive but all writers have ideas. Some are great and able to grow into short stories or novels. Others just go nowhere.
When writers find themselves in this situation what are they supposed to do? A writer is supposed get it out of their system, sort of speak. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m speaking for myself and several other writers. I know I can’t speak for everyone but I’m sure we can all agree that sometimes we just need a positive push to get us going in the right direction.
My suggestion: Write For Yourself and stay positive. You should always be the first one to push yourself, not knock yourself down.
What I mean is, treat yourself like the audience. You are the only reader that matters. Other people can read it or not read it but your opinion is the most important one. During my break I realized I couldn’t force my writing. I had to let it come naturally. It needed to flow from me.
I was my best friend and my worst enemy; my fondest critic. All in all there was no objective or sound voice with which to guide my reason and prose. There was just a lot of noise. My thoughts were unsettled so I was unsettled. I needed to take a step back and start asking myself: “What do I really NEED?”
My answer: I needed a goal and a good push with a positive attitude to go with it.
There needed and still needs to be a voice that inspires the writer (myself in this case) and pushes them to be better. Not for anyone, just for themselves. I loved writing, then I didn’t. I felt bogged down and beaten every time I wrote. I couldn’t put pen to paper without over thinking it every step of the way. I couldn’t open a Word Doc on my laptop without wondering if it was even any good. I scrapped a lot of ideas that had a future but weren’t in the “Now.” I needed to change my outlook and be positive.
It wouldn’t be easy to break old habits or change my way of thinking. The first thing that needed work was the way I worked.
Smart people do silly things when it comes to writing and I am very guilty of this. It’s now or never. Write what you need to write and say what you need to say. That is how writing should work.
Instead, it’s more like write, edit, get flustered, grow frustrated, try to move forward with your mind stuck in the past, linger on said past, scrap it, change the wording, and then write a bit more. Exciting, right?
I’m sure there was a pause, some silence, and a sigh followed by a “Huh.”
For a long time writers have been convinced that what they think of their writing is not as important as public opinion. This idea discourages lots of people from even trying to start writing. It’s definitely a career that demands a day-job nowadays but totally worth it to those of us willing to put ourselves out there.
My advice: Believe in your writing. Don’t be a critic to yourself, be a supporter. Write, write, write, and when you’re done, go back and edit.
The second thing I needed to do was let go of my insecurities and I suggest you do too. Writing, unlike math has no one equation that works to solve problems. In other words, 2+2 can be four people, money, chickens, cars, or eggs in a basket to name a few; not just the solution to 2+2. In writing there is no one answer or formula. Each writer brings their own bit of something to the table.
I got over my insecurities and started to write. So far, I’m 3,000 words in and still don’t have a title. But you what, I’m okay with it.
The last thing I would suggest is challenging yourself to write things you never thought you could or would write. Some people write fantasy and fiction, why not take a stab at non-fiction? Don’t hold yourself back by limiting yourself to just what you do well.
I’m not good at sitting down to write and write and write if I’m not sure where I am trying to go with my story and I will challenge this side of myself by joining NaNoWriMo. For the past few years I have heard of the one novel in one month challenge and never tried it. I think it’s about time I did. My goal is to write using some new characters based on one of my random ideas. As I work I will add updates on my progress and some previews of the stuff I will be working on.
Wish Me Luck!
As always, Thanks for Reading!!