“The path to our destination is not always a straight one. We go down the wrong road, we get lost, we turn back. Maybe it doesn’t matter which road we embark on. Maybe what matters is that we embark.” ―Barbara Hall
When it comes to being creative, writers can sometimes feel guilty for spending time at the computer screen when they could be elsewhere. It's a question I'm frequently asked—how do I gain permission to work on my novel, and how can I create when I'm just not feeling it?
WAYS TO JUSTIFY WRITING
If you're serious about this writing business, then you need to treat it as such. You wouldn't feel guilty about attending your regular full-time job, right? However, when you return home from that job, spending time with your family, doing chores and seeing friends has to be your top priority, because life isn't all about earning money.
So, here are a few tips you can do to fairly squeeze your writing in without neglecting the other areas of your life:
Write when everyone else is busy - if your wife has a hobby, can you write when she's busy with that? If your children are at the park, can you write while they're out for 30 mins? If your boyfriend is playing football this weekend, write before his game ends.
Set a certain schedule for your writing and tell the people you live with that between 4-5pm, you're working from home. Ask them, politely, to avoid distracting you so you can get the best out of your office time.
Having creative control and knowing when to say 'no' to something has to be acceptable—saying yes to everyone and everything leaves little time for you to focus on what's important in your creative bubble... your writing.
ARE MY IDEAS WORTHWHILE?
Do you struggle to be creative without having to ask if your ideas were worthwhile?
Sometimes, sharing an idea can suck the umph from your excitement about it, so it's better to keep your mouth shut and let the project brew for a while.
Explore options and fail, if necessary, to test if that path is worth walking. Because creativity is never perfect—acknowledge trusting your gut and going for it is part of the fun. If you do need someone to bounce ideas off, consider buying a journal.
I FEEL OBLIGED TO CREATE
We must enjoy what we are doing and benefit from our creativity. Why else would you create something if not initially for your entertainment? If others appreciate it too... great! If not, we can't please everyone and shouldn't try. The world would be a boring place if everyone liked and disliked the same things.
"Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!" - Dr. Seuss
I wanted to be myself and not get mixed up in the demands of social media. Turns out, just being YOU is worthwhile, and this proved true when someone complimented how 'fresh' my content was because I wanted to create it, not because I felt it was expected of me in the industry.
MY IDEAS ARE NOT ORIGINAL, SO IS THERE ANY POINT?
I believe our lack of originality is actually why there are so many wonderful stories and books out there. Even if the genres and ideas behind them were similar or even cliché to begin with, an author can turn the bare bones into a vibrant landscape and characters with depth.
I am constantly learning and improving, trying new things and developing on a personal and a creative level, but I can only ever be me; what makes us unique is that we care deeply about different things and see everything in new and interesting ways.
There is always a point if it makes you happy, and remember that not everything you create has to be shared with the public.
WRITE THIS DOWN
Be your own cheerleader - Celebrate the little achievements.
Accept that creativity is never perfect.
Remember you do not need approval to create.
Be yourself, always.
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