One of the things that gives me the most pleasure in life is writing. Throwing myself into a good, intense writing session clears my head of my worries, helps me focus in a way nothing else does, calms me, and leaves me with a happy, peaceful, content feeling when I’m done. I know I’m a writer because of how writing feels. There’s nothing else that gives me the sense of accomplishment and fulfilment that it does.
So why do I, like so many other writers, spend so much time not writing? It’s easy to procrastinate. If you can’t find excuses not to write, you can definitely make some up. If there’s anything a writer is good at besides writing, it’s not writing. Nothing gives me more joy than putting the words on the page, and nothing makes me grouchier, angrier, and more despairing than not having my creative outlet. There’s an easy solution to this of course, but heaven forbid I do anything the easy way.
There’s a lot of agonizing that goes on when you’re not writing. A lot of questions bounce around in your head. What if this thing I’m writing sucks? What if I can’t work out the plot? What if this isn’t what I want to write? What if I can’t finish it? The best way to answer any of these questions is to spend time with the story and find out. Yeah, sometimes the writing does suck, but if you don’t write it to begin with, you’ll never find out. Maybe that’s the fail safe. If I don’t write, it won’t be awful!
But it won’t be good either, and you won’t feel like you’ve accomplished something.
Some writers are magnificent in their prolificness. They write every day and churn out multiple books per year. They do the work instead of griping and moaning about it. If this is you, congratulations! Now, get out of my face and go write. (Just kidding. Sorta.)
I wish I could be more disciplined. I wish I could stop groaning about my writing and just sit down and do it. I mean, obviously I do it eventually, because I have lots to show for it, but sometimes it’s mysterious even to me when I got all this stuff done. All I remember is dragging around like a slug and feeding the cat for the fifth time instead of getting my words down for the day. I remember convincing myself the story is crap instead of writing it to find out. But eventually, I must have sat my butt in the seat and put the work in.
It’s hard to be a writer, dammit. There’s so much we have to complain about!
How about you? Do you find yourself procrastinating and brooding instead of writing?