Yup. It’s true.
I am a published author. I am currently working on a novel, three plays, three children’s books, a book of short stories, a book of poetry, and an anthology. I am passionate about writing and still I have to make myself do it.
It’s something that I struggle with. Constantly questioning if I truly love what I do or if I can genuinely call myself a writer. I mean honestly, if I love it so much why does it often feel like yet another thing that I have to do? At times it overwhelms me to the point of shut-down. For me, that looks like severe procrastination. I will start fifty new projects, organize my entire life, binge watch two new shows, or just hide in bed. And just before I decide to burn all my work, I’ll get a burst of inspiration and complete four projects in one night. I can’t explain it and I can’t plan for it. It just comes when it comes. This is why I’m up blogging at 3 a.m. My process is completely unpredictable and that stresses my Virgo rising all the way out.
I’ve heard multiple writers talk about scheduling time every morning to write for at least one hour. I tried that and it worked for all of two weeks. But it wasn’t a total failure.
What I learned from that experience was:
Creativity Fuels Creativity.
– I’m a whole person made up of many different interests. I’m also a Pisces with a Gemini moon. I can’t limit myself to one art form. Sometimes I write and other times I need to paint, or dance, or sew. Instead of looking at my different interests as distractions from my writing, I’ve learned to let my art forms influence one another.
Don’t Force It.
– Look here… I don’t believe in speaking or writing when I don’t have anything to say. And even as someone who loves words, sometimes I really have absolutely nothing to say. If I try to write under these conditions, I will most likely be unsatisfied with the outcome. Which means I’m either not going to use the work or change it later. Both sound like a waste of time to me so I just don’t bother. The creativity will come eventually (sometimes later that day), so I just ride the wave.
Always Be Moving In The Direction Of Your Goal.
– I know that I just said not to force creativity but hear me out. Not everyday is full of inspiration. That does not mean that I take the day off. Instead those days are for editing. There are many different parts to creating content. If I open up my work and nothing sparks, that’s the time to “cleanup”. For me, that looks spell check, character development, plot and setting layout, etc. In the end, all of these things bring me closer to a “finished” product.
Be Patient With Yourself.
– Like everything else this work can be hard and frustrating. Some days you’ll create work that you love and you’ll ask yourself, “Did I really do that?” Other days your work will be straight trash and you’ll ask yourself, “Did I really do that?” The answer is yes. Accept it. Neither the ups or downs last forever so you might as well sit with each one. Honor yourself and rest when you need to. Play when you need to. And scream when you need to. You got this.
Just Get It Done.
– You will be successful. Just put it out there and bask in that feeling of accomplishment. Regardless of what your insecurities say about why it’s not good enough, it is. The true success is just doing it. Being well received is just a bonus. If no one on this Earth ever sees your work, you will know that you took something out of your head and made it real. That’s an ego boost like no other.
The bottom line is, your process is personal. Figure out what’s best for you and get to it.
Have you heard the expression If you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work? That’s a lie. Everything worth doing is work. The question is, does your work make you feel satisfied? If it leaves you feeling full rather than drained, I say keep at it.