I’m excited! It’s been a while since I’ve felt this pumped about editing a manuscript. Don’t get me wrong. I love writing, except I think all the hours of writing, networking, keeping up with friends on social media, participating in any and all writing challenges I could to hone my skills, etc., were finally taking their toll. Burn-out and fatigue were creeping in and writing began to feel like a chore. Even sifting through my G+ stream to touch base with people and to check out new sites sent thrills of anxiety through me. “Am I doing enough?” “Am I working hard enough?” “What am I missing? What new site can I visit to help me get better?” When that nonsense went on long enough, I said, “Enough’s enough, girl. This is supposed to be fun!” I mean, yes, there’s a whole part to writing that involves not so fun things like marketing and trying to get your work out there, but the core of it all, the passion for writing, has to be maintained. And for a while there, it wasn’t.
Why? I dunno. I think I got too competitive with myself and started second guessing my creative choices, trying too hard to figure out what people expected or wanted from me. And a part of that is normal. We strive to improve at the craft, and we write blogs and maintain websites to make ourselves accessible to readers, as well as to get feedback from them. And I really dig all that. But there’s always the danger that the desire to please can become a burden and, I think, lead to burning out, or at least, to diminishing our passion for writing.
So, what changed? A mental slap in the face to refocus, for one. Also, reminding myself that it’s important to be aware of what people like and expect but to keep that in perspective. A writer can’t please everyone at all times; it’s possible (likely) to write something no one will like. Egads! What did she say??? Yes, it’s true, and I had to accept that, too, lol But the idea is freeing; learning through one’s failures is often the best of teachers, and so giving myself the freedom to fail shed the burden of always wanting/needing to be perfect.
In the end, I remembered that my job as a writer is to write, to be true to the stories bubbling around inside me and to do it to the best of my ability. Once I reminded myself of these simple things, I got my mojo back. Regular Show says, “Ye-ah!” (For those who don’t know the show, just smile and nod.)
Like everything in life, writing is a journey. Our skills grow and develop with us, just as we have the ability to stunt or release our creativity and ability by how we approach it.
Please drop me a line and tell me what you think or about your experiences/challenges with growing with writing.
Happy writing everyone!