Thursday, August 9, 2012

Forcing Yourself to Write

                Everyone loves those days when they love to write, but the days when they don’t are harder. I was struck by a realization last night: for the first time in months, I didn’t want to write. For me, that was crazy. Ever since I got seriously into writing, about eight months ago, I’d always went to bed or around my daily activities thinking, “Oh, I wish I had time to write –whatever story or article-!” or “Yes, that’s a great poem idea!” or “That’d make a great six-word story!” However, for the past two days I was bone-dry, creativity-wise. I just didn’t have anything to write that I really liked, or truly wanted to write. I honestly didn’t know what to do with myself.

                It was easier when I forced myself to write, I noticed. For example, back in Camp NaNo, I would write 1,667 words a day because I had a deadline and a goal. However, when you’re on your own, you have to make time to write, and use it as well. I wished I could just figure out how to force myself to write; it would have been so much easier if I could just sit down and write. I was worrying about quality and dialogue and the various facets of characters, whereas during Camp I was just writing. My advice is this: just try to write, and don’t worry about all of the tips and tricks to make it better. I didn’t worry about that before, because I just loved the stories, but now I get concerned with that, instead of just simply writing. Crazy, I know.

                Last night, I was talking to my sister, Anni, about all of the doubts I’d been having about writing, and the fact that I didn’t want –so badly- to write, that day. I didn’t know what to do. As some people think of themselves as swimmers or builders, I think of myself as a writer. I was getting so caught up in verbalizing my feelings and fears, when I went over to my window. My sister had tried to reassure me, but she didn’t really know what to say. I stuck my head out and inhaled the fresh air, and got an idea. I reached for the paper I kept by my bed and started writing happily, getting struck by an idea. Anni must think I’m very strange. After fourteen years though, I think she’s gotten used to my abrupt writing style.

Sometimes the best thing to do is to write a story without worrying about its quality, or to talk out your feelings about writing with a writing buddy, and to not stress out of you can’t force yourself to write while having writer’s block. After all, it happens.

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