So I don’t know about you guys, but life can get very hectic sometimes. Trying to juggle study, a baby and online profiles is difficult enough, and it gets 10x harder when I try and throw writing in there too. It’s something that takes immense time and concentration, not to mention mental stress!
I wanted to share some personal wisdom with all you writers out there who are fretting you may not meet deadlines, or start subconsciously rejecting writing because of the pressure you feel to scribble some words.
#1 Treat Yo Self
This is something I personally struggle with. I have very little restraint, but honestly, if you are under time pressure and need to write, rewarding yourself at frequent intervals is important. For example, I say to myself “If you write for half an hour, you can spend 20mins on a phone app or Facebook.” Then I do it. And after that 20mins, I feel slightly less bogged down. Next ‘reward’ I’ll try and change it up, maybe I’ll allow myself to read a couple chapters of the book I’m currently hooked on. You don’t have to treat yourself with time away from your work, food works well too. Perhaps a cup of tea. Make sure to have a sweets jar on hand!
#2 Find a Writing Buddy
There are always people out there who need motivation just like you do. Go to YouTube, the blog-o-sphere, even people you know personally! Trust me, others will be as keen as you are. Bounce ideas between each other. Schedule times to write together. Challenge each other with who can write the most words that day. If you don’t feel comfortable enough doing this, try opening a new word document and having a conversation with ‘someone else’ about your book and your ideas. It may bring you things you’d never even though of.
#3 (If you aren’t already) Don’t Focus About Being Published
This is a huge one, which people tend to learn over time. Of course, everyone would love to be the next J. K. Rowling! But that’s not going to happen, especially if you’re focusing your energy on writing something you think other people will want to read, other than what you personally want to write about. Readers can tell if you’re writing something just to make it fit into a category, or tailor to the norms. If your only goal is to be published, and you’re not writing for the sake of wanting to write for yourself, you’ll fizzle out. So put this to the back of your mind until you’ve finished your manuscript, and focus instead on enjoying what you’re creating.
4# Stop being over-analytical – just write!
This is something I’ve found most people are guilty of… They stop writing to edit! And then edit again… and again… And before you know it, you’ve spent more time editing than you have writing, and you’ve lost that ‘spark of a brilliant idea’. I for sure am guilty of this. Especially as people always ask if they can read some of what I’ve written. But don’t let that get to you. You don’t have to make everything perfect, you’re still writing! The editing comes after. Your first mission, is to finish.
5# Battling self doubt
Your inner demons will always be out to get you when you write. But what you need to remember is – only you can tell your story, because only you know how it goes. So tell it. There will be days where you want to cry, feeling like your work isn’t good enough, feeling like a fraud. But I’ll tell you, nothing is original anymore. Everyone takes the idea of something from somewhere. Even the people who ‘invented a genre’ had inspiration from past works, whether that fictional or text. People write from experience. But the way each idea is morphed is an amazing and underrated miracle. Creativity has to stem from somewhere, and that’s why we keep picking up new books to read; we want to see what each writer or author can do with it.
Everyone, myself included, needs to stop and take a minute to realise how fantastic it is that you have stories forming inside your own brain, and even more fantastic that you have an itch to tell it. Encourage yourself and your writing peers. And please, never give up and tell yourself you’re not good enough.
YOU CAN DO IT.
If anyone needs a writing buddy let me know and I’ll happily help out!