Monday, December 19, 2016

How to Love Writing Again

I've been struggling to write as of late. I call it writer's block when people ask why I've slowed down. Honestly, though, it's because my passion for writing has fizzled out of existence and I don't really like it anymore.

Don't get me wrong, when people ask my hobbies, I still say, "I'm a writer." But I just don't write so much anymore because I don't have that passion anymore. It's so low on my priority list for life that everything else gets in the way and I never get to it.

Then the other day I had a breakthrough. I had been having a really bad day - one of those days where everything goes wrong and you end up sobbing yourself to sleep. Except, after sobbing, I couldn't sleep. So I climbed out of my bed, went to the laptop, and started to write. The words came easily and smoothly and I wrote several thousand words without even thinking about it. By the end of it, I was feeling much better and went back to bed where I fell asleep peacefully.

Thinking on that, I realized something:

I'm not writing for myself anymore.

When I first started writing, it was because I was in a dark place in life and writing is what kept me sane and moving forward. Eventually, others found out that I wrote and discovered I had some skill, and suddenly I was writing novels for NaNoWriMo and working towards publication. My writing had to be perfect, because I knew someday, others would read it. But that was the problem.

I was writing for others, not for myself. My passion for writing died because it became stressful for me. It became work instead of pleasure.

So when I went in and just wrote again to find inner peace, with no goal in mind, the answer of how to start writing again came back.

Write like no one is going to read it. Create characters that are totally unrealistic. Make aliens attack and zombies fight them off, if you feel so inclined. Write to write, not to please others.

Not that I won't ever get a novel published or let others read my work. But I'll write first for my own enjoyment, then go back and edit and clean it up, and get it publishable later.

And then I'll love writing again.