Looking at writing differently this year.
Forgive me as I spew out some old ideas in an attempt to inspire myself. There’s so much advice for writers that it’s hard to figure out which is best.
This feels like cleaning out a closet. When looking for old clothes to donate, you find items you forgot you had. Perhaps you were saving them for a special occasion that never happened. In this way, I am trying to figure out what works for me as a writer and human.
I read somewhere or heard somewhere, I wish I could remember, about how this day in age is too focused on productivity. We even have to monetize our hobbies when hobbies are supposed to be a free form of expression, a way to not be work, a way to reconnect with ourselves. I know this is why I lost my vibe in writing. Not that I was trying to monetize, but I was trying to prioritize it in all the wrong ways.
It is true that to be a writer, you must write. You must give it as much priority as you do all your other chores or jobs. That worked for a while. I have critique partners counting on me, writing groups that have check-ins, and challenges I partake in to help me stay on course. But that eventually turned my hobby, my passion, into a job. An unpaid, time-sucking job that I started to dread. Life has been difficult enough to get through one day job, let alone a second.
So how do I ensure I keep writing in 2022?
Hobbies, habits, goals, writing; these all do better with routine. Even your health. This is more or less my point today. As we stumble back into our old work routines post-holidays, with all sorts of fancy new goals and promises, I have just one. I just want to stick to a routine. We can’t do it all:
- 8hours of sleep
- 8glasses of water
- 3 days of workouts
- 100words a day
- 5 walks a day for your dog
- 15 minutes of training for your dog
- Eat three well-rounded meals a day
- Meditate once a day
- Read that book, do your laundry, keep your house clean, go grocery shopping, listen to the podcast, return all those emails, help your co-workers after hours, call your family – IT’S TOO MUCH.
Then “me-time” becomes staring at a screen to escape into some lousy tv show. (Ok, some are good, but that’s not the point) We stop doing, we stop creating, we stop being us. We become spectators of someone else’s life, someone else’s goals. Just know; that someone achieved their goals with a routine. A dedicated routine.
What does this mean? It means it’s ok not to write. Writing time may mean reading, research, daydreaming, sketching, brainstorming, revising, world-building, or maybe even simply playing around with words. “I’m not a loser or failure if I don’t put words down every single day.” (note to self: this is a mantra)
My intent is not to write every day but to cut out some time for writing-related things each day. FOR MYSELF. If I can at least bookmark a spot and have writing on my mind and shut out the rest of the world completely, I just may find that time a perfect writing opportunity.
I’ve created a list of options for this time, and although it seems daunting to try and achieve any of these things during a hectic day, I’m going to try.
More importantly, I’m telling myself it’s ok to not write every day. Just live in that world a bit, shut computers & phones off, and close doors as well. Breathe.
Connect. Create. Write. Or not.
Best of luck to all of you out there who may be losing yourself in someone else’s dreams and goals. I hope you find time to create and recreate yourself.