I need to get something off my chest about writing (a short thread). I constantly feel guilty for not writing. I have a lot of demands on my time + exhausted 99% of the time. but then i think, well, others manage, am I just making excuses? but right now…
— rebecca ‘stay gold pony boy’ williams (@stupidgirl45) March 10, 2018
— Greg Pak (@gregpak) March 21, 2018
Reading both of these threads, was helpful to me. I identified the same guilt I feel about not writing and it helped hearing others talk about the same feelings. So I thought I’d write my own experiences and what helped me, in the hope it might help others.
1. Forgive yourself.
I’m terrible at pressuring myself too. Write when you are able, right now find a way that will help later. Be a detail collector 😀
— Selcouth Station Press (@SelcouthStation) July 24, 2017
2. Ignore others
3. Focus on the work.
You just have to be a little bit selfish, block the outside world and try to make the work as good as possible. Listen to yourself and just focus on getting the words in as good an order as possible. When you’re working on something, it involves blocking out the outside world as much as possible and only being guided by yourself. You might not be as proficient as others. It might take you years to write books. That’s ok, as long as you’re making progress. You have to do it at your own pace.
I think the problem we have with ideas in our society is that they need to be instant. We need to continually react to the world around us, provide instant reactions and instant wisdom. This doesn’t necessarily mean all that content is good. Most of it will be rubbish. Ideas aren’t necessarily instant. Sure, you may get a great idea in the shower and then write it down in a mad frenzy. Or they make take longer to ferment. I’ve got half-scrawled notes in notebooks from ten years ago that I’m only just getting round to making sense of. Stories take longer to write than you might expect. As long as you keep moving forward, it doesn’t matter if you go at the speed of sound or at the speed of growing grass. It’s still moving forward. You have to try and make the work a little better each time. Guilt won’t help that. Similarly, if you need a break from a piece of work, then put it aside and work on something else. Or take a break entirely and go live your life for a bit. It doesn’t make you any less of a writer. It makes you human.