Bit of a mini-post today. I just got back from Scotland last week, and I’m leaving the country again tomorrow! So I’m a bit short on time. But here’s something that’s been on my mind for a while.
Sometimes, I approach writing with fear or trepidation or pressure or worry or just general negativity. I found this video (see below) a while ago, and I felt it related really well to being a novelist. So often, I sit down to write with a voice in my brain going you have to publish story this someday. You MUST be ‘good enough’ and you MUST write well. Come on, you’ve been a writer for three years now. Do better. Get your act together. If you’re not good enough, it’s just a whole waste of time.
I found an answer to this problem in a video by Tessa Violet. She’s a phenomenal YouTuber and singer as well. In this video, she talks about songwriting, which is super cool – and I think it compares well to novel-writing. She says this wonderful phrase about two minutes into the video:
“A great way to never write anything is to enter into creativity with fear.”
You don’t have to watch the video if you don’t want to. But she makes an excellent point: fear is the opposite of creativity.
So how do we stop this? For me, it’s reminding myself that writing is play. It’s fun. I have to remind myself that (for now), it’s my HOBBY. It means taking the pressure off myself to be perfect. It means reminding myself of the things I like about writing.
It means letting myself enjoy the process, instead of being so very focused on the end result. It means writing for me, and only me. For MY enjoyment. If I share my work later, that’s great! If I get published later, woohoo! But my rough draft is only for my eyes, and for my enjoyment. (Not that every day of writing will be fun, or that it’s all sunshine and butterflies. But since I’m currently not getting paid to write, literally the only reason I write is because I enjoy it.)
So. If you’re finding it hard to write right now, maybe take the pressure off for a bit. Write for the sheer fun of it. Let your creativity flow, and give yourself permission to have a good time. You never know what might happen, and you might be surprised by how good your writing is.