Saturday, September 6, 2014

Don't Write Every Day. Or do. Whatever.

The question I've continued to struggle with lately has been how in the world to keep... slogging... forward...

... but then it occurs to me, this shouldn't feel like slogging at all! Writing is my dream.  It should feel good.  Even when it's awful, it should feel GOOD.  Like running, or losing weight, or really rough sex...oops!

It seems like when you are a writer, one of the biggest pieces of advice that gets drilled into your poor, overwhelmed, overworked brain is WRITE EVERY DAY. You must do this, no matter what.  It is the only way to get anywhere, the only way to improve. The only way to eventually be someone.

I have a problem with this, and I've been beating myself up over it for a long time now.  (Cough, years, cough).

Writing shouldn't be this painful.  It never used to be.  It was easy to try my best to write every day.  When I was working 30 hours a week and my kid still occasionally took naps.  Then I got a better paying job, complete with lots more overtime, my daughter started school... in short, life. I'm so exhausted that I have to write in spurts, whenever it occurs to me and I have a spare 5 min. Sometimes I go a whole WEEK without writing! Gasp.

And you know what? That is absolutely OKAY!

Say it with me.  Not writing every day is okay!

You aren't worthless.  You aren't a failure.  You aren't weak willed.

You are human.

What's important is that you do keep writing.  On whatever schedule you can.  Chasing your dreams at the expense of your health, your family, your job (you know, the one that pays the bills, provides you with food and shelter) would just be stupid. Romantic, but stupid.

I don't get to write every day.  Hell, I don't get to write on a consistent basis for any set amount of time in a day, week, month, year... but I still somehow get stuff done.  I complete novels.  Granted, it's slower going these days, but you know what? How many people in my personal circle of friends can say they did something like complete a novel (or two, or three) in the course of a lifetime- let alone a year? None. Zero. Zip. Zilch.  So, how can I not be proud of that?

We are so good at crapping on ourselves.  I say STOP it.  Give yourself some credit.  You earned it.  Wrote a chapter this month? Good for you. A paragraph? Great.  One measly freaking sentence? Fuck yes! Good job! Cause you know what? It's still more than nothing.

All those people who are lucky enough to be blessed with unlimited stores of energy, free time, and no worries outside spending 2, 4, 20 hours a day writing? Forget 'em.

They don't matter.

All that matters is your story. Your happiness. Go forth and conquer!  One letter at a time, if need be!!

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