So a lot of people will tell you that you should just write… that you should make it a regular thing, that putting pen to paper or fingers to keys is a good thing… that waiting for the muse of creativity is a waste of time.
I have been told this almost my entire life. I have heard authors talk about the importance to writing to stay in practice, of the importance of just writing, of letting a whole bunch of potential junk flow out of you and that sometimes what you write will be golden.
I would like to say politely, “Bull.”
Ok fine… maybe that was a bit harsh. But my point is that for some people, yes, writing consistently and just for the point of writing can be helpful. Enough people swear to this that it must work. HOWEVER, not all of us operate in this way. When I force myself to write… when I simply sit down and say: I am going to write X number of pages or I am going to write for X period of time, do you know what happens? I write… sometimes I write a lot… but I don’t write well.
In fact, I think I write like crap.
No, this isn’t a pity post. I know that sometimes I am able to cobble together a story or a rant or a few sentences that fit together, that flow, that make people laugh or think or smile or email me (thank you for the emails) or at any rate feel…. But I have learned a few things over the years of writing.
I have learned that sometimes short and sweet is best.
I have learned that sometimes it’s okay to be long, to take a while to get where we are going.
I have learned that I work best when I can write in one long uninterrupted moment.
I have learned that when I plan, I don’t write as well.
I have learned that when I write for the sake of writing, I don’t write as well.
I have learned that when I try too hard, I don’t write as well.
I have learned that drinking can both help and hinder my narrative flow.
I have learned that it is easier for me to write when I am being carried away by an extreme emotion.
So, maybe I am not a classic sort of writer. For sure, I am not an author and what works for me isn’t what will work for others… but vice versa is also true.
I need my muse.
Things I have learned.
You know those things you learn and then you relearn and then you are reminded of?
Or rather… let’s call this a list of things I am trying to accept.
I am going to accept the fact that my hair won’t stay red. Or blondish red. It prefers to be a mix of brown with the occasional glint of blond and the very very random occurrence of a few strands of auburn that seem to do nothing more than to get me moderately excited for a few seconds.
I am going to accept the fact that I am not good at the whole keeping the house clean. I just don’t care enough. Sure, I want to tidy up before guests. And I usually do so. But not always. Sometimes people just get to see the clutter. I do the dishes. I even sweep and occasionally vacuum. But dusting seems to be beyond my attention span.
I am going to accept that watching TV is now one of my hobbies. Well, I say TV, but you all know I mean Hulu and Netflix right? I like watching stories. I like the narrative structure of the hour long drama. I am not so wild about sitcoms but there are a few out there that I enjoy. I am not going to feel guilty for this hobby. I have plenty of intellectual pursuits to balance myself out.
I am going to accept that I will probably never be 135 pounds again. 140 is also looking a bit fantasy. Can I be okay with that? My clothes seem to fit. I eat okay. I work out. I am not fat. So…. I guess I am getting used to the idea of a different medium weight. It bothers me, but I honestly don’t know why.
I am going to accept that I am not the kind of writer I want to be. At least not right now. And knowing that means I can work on being a better writer instead of feeling ashamed for not being perfect.