Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Writer Wednesday - Take the Pressure Off

A few days ago I can across a Word doc in my "potential blog posts" file that spoke to me. I'm not sure when I wrote the content but I imagine it was a couple of years or more ago. The thing is, it still applies to me today. The theme of the post is mostly two-fold -- quit beating yourself up if you don't make your daily word count, and write every day regardless. Good advice.

I realized as I was reading through the rough copy that I had written that I actually think it was an email I had written to someone else. I often find myself doing that -- sending encouraging and uplifting and inspirational emails to other authors when they are feeling like shit because of not writing. Hey, been there. Done that. And honestly, after 30 years of chasing this writing dream, I just have to say this: 

STOP IT.
YES. STOP THAT SHIT.

There is nothing that can halt the good stuff faster than the negative crap we poke in our brains. Stop dwelling on it. Just write every damn day. That's my advice. I don't care if it's two words or two thousand words. Just get words on the page. Every day. 

I thought perhaps you'd like to read that email. It spoke to me again. Perhaps it will speak to you. 

I don't know if it will help, but lately I've been having more success allowing myself to write less each day. I started off a few weeks ago with a strict calendar and deadlines and a 2500 word a day goal. I kept getting frustrated because I wasn't making my goal every day. 

They I decided to say fuck it to the 2500 goal. I realized I was comfortably writing between 1000 and 1500 daily. While beating myself up over not reaching the bigger goal, I failed to realize I was still significantly moving the book forward each and every day by writing less than the goal. And, I met all three of my last deadlines without doing that, and I should make my deadline at the end of the month on this current WIP.

Why the difference? Less pressure. I've divided out my day loosely -- fiction in the morning, non-fiction in the afternoon. It's helping me to balance all of these different kinds of projects. And I've been happier with what I've produced each day.

So, I think what I am saying is, perhaps, give yourself some firm deadlines, a timeline of sorts, and allow yourself to write LESS each day, as long as you write EVERY DAY. I am finding the every day advice to be pure gold for me. I don't put it off anymore. It's the first thing I do in the morning.

Make sense to you?
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