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Step 37 to honing your craft: Stop partaking in it for way too long

Honestly, the things that work for all the big shot writers have always scared me.

"I push through the writer's block."

"I get up at 5AM to watch the sunrise as I write 1,000 words. Once I hit that goal, I stop and starve myself until the next day so I can continue writing."

"I'm J. K. Rowling."

"Writing is my life. Without it, I would die."

It scares me because I don't work that way. I never have.

I came into the writing game "late" so to speak. I only really started when it felt like the real world wasn't safe enough for me to live in anymore, and in order to escape, I had to make up my own. I would write for hours, staying up late (which was just past 10 o'clock back in those days -- nowadays "late" is after midnight), hiding the light of my laptop from my parents and always thinking about my work.

I'm no longer like that now.

Don't get me wrong! I love writing! I love writing so much it kills me to say I haven't written in ages. Really written. The story kind of writing where it isn't for anyone else's eyes just yet. It's for me and whomever's story I must tell.

For the little piece of myself that I need to express.

I know why it's been a while, and only half of my heart says it's a good excuse. Taking college classes full-time coupled with blogging, attending volleyball games and still wanting to be a social being is not an easy thing to balance. Yet somehow, I know I can do it.



Here's what I've learned from taking an (accidental) writing hiatus.

You can still love something and not let it consume you.

Writing is still something I love to do. But it's not my blood and breath. It doesn't consume me. I can do other things. Don't get me wrong, I still long to write a first draft that I edit all the way through until I'm confident enough to hand it in for publication. It's just not my number one priority anymore.

I used to think this was a bad thing. In fact, it was one of the things that made me not want to take college classes. "What about my writing? What about my books?"

They're on hold. (She said, in gut-clenching pain.) For now, at least.

And that's okay. Right now I'm working on other things. I'll come back to it. I always do.

You can be passionate about MANY things.

Writing isn't the only thing I'm passionate about. I love to play piano, help people out and just watch Netflix with my family. I love to make people laugh, surf Pinterest and sing in the shower. Also, I turn the bass up in the car when I'm by myself. Makes me feel good. (Random facts? Check.)

That's one of the best things about being human -- you're multi-faceted and multi-talented! Lots of things interest you and you live in a world where you have the opportunity to pursue them all.

In order to succeed at writing (or anything else), you first have to define what success is to you.

Sometimes I get carried away and define success as being on the John Green level of pure awesomeness (I MEAN HE WROTE A BOOK WITH THE WORD TURTLE IN THE TITLE), but I have since changed my mindset.

What if success, for Rosie, was going to bed each night knowing she did the best she could? If she wrote, she wrote with her whole heart. If she cried, she cried about something she cared about. If she laughed, she laughed with her whole body.

Life is too short, right? So let's cut ourselves some slack and make each day a victory.

Writing can be a lonely craft.

A friend of mine and I used to write together. We had a whole series planned, and we wrote quite a bit of it (almost 3 books!) before the project fell through and we stopped. For the longest time, I couldn't understand why it was so hard for me to get back into writing.

It was because she motivated me.

I loved surprising her with my ideas and staying up late to bounce ideas off of each other. So when we stopped, I no longer had that motivation or accountability.

Now, I still don't have a writing partner or support group, but I do know that being part of a community is important. Blogging has demonstrated that to me more than once. So if you're looking for a writing accountability partner, a beta reader or just someone to bounce ideas off of, I'm here for you! And if you happen to have someone in mind, don't be afraid to reach out to them and say, "Hey, do you wanna read something of mine sometime?"

* * *

What have you learned while on your writing journey?

Comments

  1. I love this post.
    I havent been writing as much as I should. and I feel like that makes me a "bad writer."
    but I loveeeee what you said about humans being multifaceted. because really, I have SO many interests. and it scares me sometimes that I cant devote as much time to all of them as I would like. I feel like I have to master one thing; pick one hobby to consume me in order to be "good" at it. like I have to sell my soul to it.

    but you're right. we dont have to let it consume us.

    beautiful, encouraging post. thank you for that reminder.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Faith.

      There it is. "I should". Trust me dear, not writing when "you should" doesn't make you a bad writer.

      Gosh, I totally understand how you feel. I'm exactly the same way -- and it's exhausting.

      *high five* We've got this, eh?

      Thank you for reading and sharing your experience (and reminding me I'm not alone). <3

      Delete
  2. This needed to be said. Being consumed by something isn't healthy, it's good to take breaks and put your effort into other things.
    Beautiful post!

    Also if your looking for someone to beta swap, I would love too. I have been working on a Snow White retelling. If your interested I would love to let you read it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so happy you agree! Yes, being consumed by one thing can cause burnout and maybe even make us hate something we once loved. We shouldn't put that pressure on ourselves, eh?

      I am SO open for a beta swap. I'm contact you ASAP! :)

      Delete
  3. All of these tips and insites and just general inspiration are so true!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so happy you could find inspiration in this! Thank you, Nabila!

      Delete
  4. THIS POST SPOKE TO ME ON A SPIRITUAL LEVEL. Like...I can't even describe. You're not alone! I struggle with this a LOT on the topic of writing....because there are always those Super Writers™ who seem to be SO MUCH BETTER at what they do -- but honestly, they're not. They just have a different method, a different standard, and a different idea of success. Why should we work to achieve THEIR idea of success?

    I LOVE YOUR BLOG POSTS BECAUSE THEY ALWAYS MAKE ME THINK ABOUT STUFF THAT I DON'T NORMALLY THINK ABOUT AND I JUST WANT TO THANK YOU FOR THAT! *hugs*

    rock on,
    abbiee

    ReplyDelete
  5. First off- "I get up at 5AM to watch the sunrise as I write 1,000 words. Once I hit that goal, I stop and starve myself until the next day so I can continue writing."- crying oh my gosh xD

    Secondly..yes. This is so hard, but so true. Writing is such a difficult thing to love, isn't it?

    Your posts always make me think. I love that.

    ReplyDelete

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