Living each day much muchier
The work of creative writing is not the words.
Words, themselves, are easy. The brain never shuts up. It’s always using words to explain things to itself. Endless, inane, streams of words. Usually you aren’t conscious of how much you talk to yourself. If you’re daydreaming about what might happen or how another world might look, all you need to do is type or write those words out, then you’re writing. Simple.
So why is it so hard to sit, focus and create?
The real work of writing, that first intimidating hurdle, is going into battle. There is an inner warfare raging in your brain that stops you before you even begin. The voices of your inner demons are blurred and indistinct, but they share the same goal, the same motivation, which is to stop you at any cost.
I don’t feel like it right now
I’ll do it after I don’t know what to write (which isn’t true, but it feels true)
I don’t like what I’m writing
I don’t think this is any good
Maybe if I read x or watch y, I’ll feel more inspired
I will just read over this last bit and then … oh look, something to fix.
You have to wonder, what’s the point? What do they get out of it? What possible benefit is there to self- sabotage?
Every time you divert yourself from writing, you don’t have to face the terror of your doubt.
You might think ‘I don’t feel like it’ but it’s really ‘I’m not good enough’. It might come at you as ‘this is terrible’ but it’s really ‘I’m terrible at this’.
To sit down and write seems like a leisurely way to spend a few hours but it’s quietly exhausting and the battle is completely invisible.
I wish I had the magic answer to slay demons forever, but we’re all complex human beings with our own set of circumstances, learning how to search and sooth our own souls.
Good writing is hard work. It takes time, effort, insight, brutal editing and discipline to settle on which words are the good ones… but all that has to come later.
First, there are just words. Any words. Give them a chance to be born without judgement.
“First, get it written, then get it it right.”
James Scott Bell (quoting someone he can’t remember)
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