Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Better than the Dream

I’ve read a lot of blog posts recently about writers doubting themselves, their abilities, their chosen profession. I think as writers we are built to question everything, including ourselves. But we can’t let that stop us from writing.

Writing isn’t a stroll through a field full of daisies. It takes hard work and dedication. It requires a lot of sedentary and solitary time. It needs perseverance and an active mind. And it’s demanding on family and friends.

As a writer we wrestle with schedules and deadlines. Pressure squeezes us from every direction. Our acquaintances pressure us for our time. Our daily lives and duties pressure us for our attention. The desire to write well is a pressure. The need to pay bills is a pressure. Our own personal goals can also become a pressure.

When it gets too much, it’s important to reassess our priorities. Perhaps your daily word count goal is too high. Perhaps you need a weekly word count instead. What works for one writer may not work for you so you have to find out what works for you. The key is flexibility. Life changes, so sometimes our goals must also.

Perhaps the increased pressure is an indication of your need for a break. Everyone needs a break at some time. There is no point fighting it. But sometimes change is as good as a break. Change the way you write. Change where you write. Change what you write.

Don’t let the pressure frighten you off from writing. Don’t let it tell you lies about your abilities. Writing is better than that field of daisies we all think we dream about. It’s the challenge that wakes us up and lights the fires.

What is it about writing that you love so much?


  1. This is absolutely what I needed to hear right now-thank you so much! The amount of work it takes is daunting, especially combined with everything else, but if there's no way you can stop writing, there's really no way around that.

    I love how writing allows me to think about things from a different perspective and experience things as someone else. Mostly, just the creating bit-knowing that you are actually making something that has the potential, however small, of making a difference in someone's life, even if they simply enjoy reading it.

  2. The only way to write is one word at a time and one sentence at a time. Glad this post was encouraging for you.

    And yes, the creativity of writing is the best :)

  3. Lately I had been lagging too when it comes to writing my posts. So I took a blog break. Even though it was short, I knew I needed that. Great tips here. God bless.

  4. I love putting a string of words together. I love when the sentences and paragraphs come together to make a beautiful quilt. I love brainstorming the ideas. It keeps me sane. Most of all I love that it keeps me sane [despite the insanity of writing]. There's nothing else I want to do.

  5. Blog breaks are important. I took one recently as well :)

    And yes, Mary, exactly that: the insane path to sanity :)

  6. I love the way characters and places come to life when you write. I agree, change is good. Even when I'm reading a favourite genre, if I switch to something I don't usually read (like romance) it can be quite refreshing.
    Great post. :-)

  7. Yes, bringing characters and places to life is so rewarding :)


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