I need to write. I need to write more. More often. More things. Me need to write more better.
I need to just write!
I have wanted to be an author since I was 12.
I have been writing since I was 6 (perhaps earlier).
I finished my first “book” when I was 14.
I wrote and wrote in middle school and high school and finished several short stories.
I now have 17 viable stories started.
About 8 are longer than 8 pages.
My longest work is about 110 pages in MS Word.
I have about 12 more loose ideas scribbled down in various places that I could easily make into viable stories.
I will have hundreds more ideas throughout my lifetime and I don’t know how I will ever get them onto paper.
I think about these stories. I play them out in my head and they are beautiful. They are enthralling, exciting, relatable tales that I need to tell. I would be devastated if I never shared these stories.
But I am frozen. I have days where I imagine and daydream and disconnect completely from the present. I imagine scenes upon scenes for these stories. I think I’ll go home and write them.
And I don’t.
At best I jot down the idea and move on to play Skyrim or watch Netflix.
I think the pressure that I put on myself has me frozen like this.
I decided to leave teaching, had 3 months of quarantine, got a new job with an amazing work-life balance….and I’ve worked on my fiction stories for like….20 hours? Maybe? Since March.
I don’t know why. It scares me to think that I’ve lost my passion for writing or that I don’t actually want to become an author anymore. If I’m not going to be an author after dreaming of it for 14 years then what the hell am I going to do with my life?
I started a blog to get myself out there as a writer. It was quarantine time. I had all day to do whatever. The pressure was at an all time low. Sort of.
I don’t do well without structure.
I set expectations for myself–one of which was for writing. Originally I thought I’d be posting to this blog 2-3 times a month. Ha, I just got off of a 2 month hiatus.
Plans change and that’s okay.
I am afraid to set goals for myself because I am so ridiculously harsh on myself when I don’t attain them. It took me until about 2 months ago to realize, “Oh, that soul crushing guilt is just my anxiety.” I know I am too hard on myself. I know I “should” myself too much. I try to be kind to myself, yet I know that I will always be my own worst critic. I know that I am still too hard on myself. I waver between practicing self-care by taking a break and questioning if I lack discipline by not writing. Eventually I just get trapped in this cycle of worry and neither write nor show myself proper self-love.
I need to take this time to take a step back and evaluate my situation.
Changes that have impacted my writing habits in the past year:
– Terrible work situation September 2019 through mid-March 2020.
– COVID reaches the USA and we all say “Yay three weeks off of work!”
– Oh, no more in person work til June…maybe.
– Work situation improves because it is remote.
– Job search becomes less fruitful as COVID surges.
– Start blog and blogging is awesome!
– Oh, no more in person work until god knows when.
– Teaching is done.
– Launch blog!
– All of the writing goals and expectations for myself!
– 15 days later I accept a tutoring/nanny job. I work in person 8 hours a day.
– COVID is still terrible.
– Continue to set writing goals that I am not meeting.
– Agree to stay in tutoring/nanny job for the remainder of 2020-2021 school year because–guess what? COVID is still terrible.
– Love my job but I am still tired after working 8 hours and driving between 1 hr- 1.5 hours every day
– Uh oh, quarantine 15 was real. Set a weight loss goal and a work out goal for two evenings each week. Super dedicated and going really well.
Clearly, my free time has shrunk since March. It is just so hard for me to adjust my goals. I realized this around July and have been working on it. It just feels like I’m quitting when I change my expectations of myself. To not achieve my original goal feels like failure.
And it’s absolute bullshit. I know it is. But guess who still feels badly about it?
Some thoughts I frequently have:
– Why didn’t I write more when I was home for 3 months?
– How did I not take advantage of that time?
– Why am I not taking advantage of it now?
– If I want to be a writer so badly why am I not writing today?
– I should set a writing goal.
– I don’t want writing to ever be a chore.
– If I don’t have a routine and structure will I ever finish another story?
– Why don’t I write during that 30 minutes of free time I sometimes have during my work day?
– Why haven’t I been using that time to write?
– This month was really busy, I can write next month. But that feels like an excuse- what if next month is also very busy and I just never write? I only moved to a new apartment and had a minor back injury. I could have written more.
– Now is my chance to write. I need to start working on it now.
– I need to make huge progress on my writing in the next year or I will regret it and it will negatively affect my job plans going forward.
– Do non-OCD people have any concept of how my brain works and how laughable but nevertheless anxiety-inducing these worry thoughts sound to me when I write them all down for people to read on the internet?
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I need to write because I enjoy it. I need to do my best to ignore the fear and anxiety and just write. I need to focus less on SEO and optimal word count for posts to get in the top 10 Google results and just use this blog to write. I need to focus less on the end result of writing my stories and just write because I love writing. I always have and I always will. If life gets in the way of that, it’s okay. I will write when I want to write. Just because I don’t write for a week, or a month, or 3 months, or even a year does NOT mean that I am no longer a writer or no longer want to be a writer.
I hope you fellow writers found this somewhat relatable. To all you non-writers, your brains must be such a sea of calm and order. I hope you join the writers in this chaos someday.