Sunday, October 22, 2017

Guilt Free Writing

Sometimes, writers feel guilty or are made to feel guilty for not spending enough time on their writing. The most frequently heard “right way to write” is butt in chair, 8 hours a day, your writing is your job. But what if your writing is not your day job? (This girl needs a regular paycheck!)

The truth is everyone has different writing practices.

Some writers have a day job, take care of their kids after work then write for several hours after they’ve gone to bed. I tried that, but I realized I’m not creative at the end of the day, but drained.

Other writers wake up early and write before work. I tried that, too, and was late for work every time and by day three was exhausted and had co-workers ask me if I was sick.

I’ve read other writers write 15 minutes a day or on their days off or weekends.

What I’ve learned is every writer must figure out what works best for them.

First, consider your work schedule and/or family commitments, then ask yourself when are your creative juices flowing. Embrace that time. Don’t compare yourself to other writers. Don’t beat yourself up because you feel it’s not enough writing time.

Here’s the secret: words become sentences which turn into paragraphs which lead to pages. Pages become chapters. Chapters become a novel.

My best writing time is in the morning. I write on my days off or the weekends. The time may vary from an hour to all day.

Closing note: I did have a writer make me feel guilty. I was at a local book fair talking to a guest author. She asked me what I wrote and how often. After I told her, she replied if I was a real writer, I’d be writing eight hours a day! When I said I had a day job and a family, she said “that's no excuse.”  

I was shocked and discouraged. After a few days, I gave myself a pep talk and decided it didn’t matter what she thought, I had to do what worked for me. And you need to do what works for you. 

Believe in yourself, be patient and persevere.

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