Writing Tips

A letter to my writing buddies

You’ll get there one day. I can’t tell you where “there” is but your version of it is coming, as long as you don’t give up, that is.

Everything you write might seem wrong right now. That’s okay. Or maybe you’re not really writing; it’s just notes here and there. A jumble of chaos. That’s okay, too. All writing counts. It’s all valid. The good, the bad and the disconnected.

And god the goal might be publishing or a huge fan base but why can’t it be a smaller thing, for now? A great chapter? A suspenseful scene? A striking sentence? A loveable character? Are these not great feats? I think so. I know so…

Yet we don’t allow them to be, why is that? Why must we writers be so riddled with self-doubt and fear? Comparison, uncertainty, self-depreciation, we got the lot. It’s a sad tale, one we could never write for ourselves!

But with a breath of fresh air and a step backwards, maybe we can see from a better vantage point. Maybe we can begin to appreciate our talent for what it is and regain the momentum that we need. Perhaps we can see through the lens of joy and excitement for writing, again.

What if you were to dedicate a year to writing for the sake of it?

To write whatever takes your fancy.

To write for practice.

To write a random character or scene just for fun.

To jump genres and plots and mediums without worry.

How liberating would that be?

Maybe you’re further along your writing journey than I am. Maybe you’re on deadline or have to make it this year, because it’s your last chance. But I know one thing for sure, forcing your creativity and putting pressure on yourself unnecessarily does not a happy writer make.

Creativity should be nurtured and kindled and shaken up and yes, there’s discipline in there too but first and foremost there needs to be compassion. A friendship with your creativity. A give and take. It’s sort of spiritual and beautiful and romantic. At least, it can be that for you, if that resonates.

I invite you to ask yourself what your writing really means to you. What is it’s real role in your life. What role do you want it to come to play in the future. When everything is taken away, does your writing stay? Do you still write when you’re tired and sad and busy? Do you write to please? Do you write to fit a market? Why do you write? Why really?

And lastly, love what you do otherwise why do it? Your writing my not always sound great, especially to others, but if it feels good to you then keep it. Keep going. Enjoy the process without fretting over an end destination. But the road is the journey and the outlook should be beautiful along the way. It’s not about the word count or the views or whatever else, unless you truly enjoy that. Instead allow yourself to appreciate the journey and the play that writing once was when we were younger.

Sincerely,

S. xx

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