As creatives, the pressure we put on ourselves is repulsive. I have had the pleasure of meeting so many authors in my short time in bookish spaces, and boy. Y’all need to be kinder to yourself.
I mean, myself included.
We’re all trapped in this rat race—desperate to create, constantly researching upmarket trends, social media tactics, liking, commenting, follow-trains, giveaways, and don’t forget to write! It’s exhausting. When it’s finally time to write, the soul has been sucked out of it. There’s no joy. It’s just another obstacle to overcome.
I don’t mean to sound like a bad infomercial, but do you think it’s time to slow down?
I mean it. Take a break. Grab a nap or a cup of coffee. Treat yourself! Heck, even an overpriced floral-something-or-other latte with some edible gold glitter sprinkled on top.
But beyond treating yourself, cut yourself some slack. Even if you’re incredibly well-rested, hydrated, eating well, and bendier than you’ve ever been thanks to that mindfulness yoga class, you’re not going to write perfectly. Not all the time. Maybe not even some of the time.
I’ve watched so many incredibly talented writers get grid-locked by this notion that they have to write something perfect. The first time around, or it doesn’t count.
So I’m issuing a formal challenge to everyone.
Write something bad.
Just for fun!
Who cares if it’s grammatically correct or if the characters are well-rounded? So what if there are gaping plot holes, or the story changes halfway through. Head-hopping? Who cares!
Write what you want to write and see how you feel.
Because being on the grind nonstop is soul-sucking. Between catering to markets and industry standards, we’re constantly being spoon-fed conflicting information on how to do things. The joy—the love—of this creative process can feel overwhelming. Daunting. A chore, even.
We write because we love it, right? So, let it be silly for a while. Let it be something you do for you. Celebrate your weirdness, your personal cliches, and your eccentricities. Write that story you’ve been daydreaming about for months.
Write something that may be bad and love it, anyway. Because you made it.
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