Writing is something that I’ve never been able to walk away from, no matter how frustrating, disappointing and energy-draining it’s been. When I can’t decide what to write, I’m stuck in part of my project, or I just don’t have the confidence, people tend to say, “Why don’t you just take a break? Stop writing for a while.” Others wonder why I write anyway, with how much it drives me crazy some days.
The thing is, I can’t walk away from it. It’s not just that I don’t want to, but because it’s become a part of my life- and routine is a hard thing to break. I’m used to waking up and thinking about my current project, brainstorming while I’m doing tedious chores, and designing characters worth loving. It makes me a better person, I think, and definitely a happier one. I like being able to introduce myself to people and say something other than, “My name is Carynn and I have four siblings.” (Not many people care how many siblings you have.) Instead I can say, “My name is Carynn and I’m a writer.”
For some reason that sounds powerful to me. The word ‘writer’ has become not only a frequently-used word in my every-day vocabulary, but one that motivates me.
Just say it out loud. “I’m a writer.” It feels good to say, doesn’t it?
Writing is a hobby that balances out, like most others. There are the aspects that you love, and then there are the things that make you want to cry and rip your eyebrows out. All writers have struggles, and there’s no avoiding them.
Don’t worry, though. Like all obstacles, you can overcome them. Once you find what you struggle with in writing, you can face it. After all, the word ‘struggle’ implies that there’s a problem that one is fighting against. So fight back.
Don’t deny it; we’ve all been here. In fact, I’m here all the time. Some days I can write 6,000 words in one sitting, and others I can barely get out one paragraph. I’ve tried many techniques to get myself to write, including limiting myself, forcing myself to get to a certain word count, and just letting myself write however much I feel like (whether it be nothing or multiple pages). It’s different for everyone, so figure out what method works best for you.
2. Self- Doubt/ Insecurity
Honestly, I think this is what I struggle the most with. I’m always asking myself questions like ‘Will anyone actually enjoy this?’ ‘Would I want to read this?’ ‘Why would anyone even care about this character?’ I often find it hard to motivate myself, so I try to get feedback. The problem is, good feedback is hard to find. My family is supportive and they try to read my writing every once in a while, but it’s hard for them to keep up. Also, I don’t really write for their age groups or interests, so it’s hard for them to enjoy. I typically write YA fiction, which isn’t very exciting for kids between the ages of 2 and 11, or 36 and 37-year-old adults. I think that’s why I started blogging, because I thought it might help to motivate me.
3. Comparing your work
It’s hard not to compare your work with that of your favorite authors. It’s natural human behavior to envy others (thanks a lot Adam and Eve), and people who create art deal with this the most. Thinking well of your own work is very important, because it reflects who you are. You don’t want to change your own unique style to fit that of a writer you envy, because in doing so you’ll be silencing the voice that wants to tell the world what you’re meant to say. Be true to who you are, and you’ll touch the stars.
You will never be perfect. Accept it, because it’s a fact. No one’s perfect, and neither are you. It’s impossible, so don’t worry about it. As you practice your hobby it will grow and change, which is unavoidable. It’s a good thing. Once you learn new things about writing, though, don’t look back on your old work and think badly of it. It just means that you’ve become a better writer. You’ll always get better as you practice. Although, unlike your Mom’s been telling you your whole life, practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect doesn’t exist, but extraordinary does. If you just keep writing, your work can become just that.
5. Focus on the writing
This is a very hard one for me. While I write I’m always thinking about the future; how this book will look on a shelf, how many reviews it’ll get when it’s published, what actors I want for what characters when it becomes a movie…
Focus, my friends.
Many writers spend more time thinking or talking about writing than actually doing it, which I am certainly guilty of. These things are fun to think about and definitely can be motivating, but don’t let them distract you from actually getting words on paper.
Now close out of this tab (actually, wait until you like and comment, my loyal readers!), exit Pinterest (those adorable cat pictures can wait), grab a cup of coffee (or tea, if you prefer it), pull on those cozy socks, snuggle up with your furry companion and do what you love:
Until next time,