Tonight, I had one of those random writing-related epiphanies I get from time to time. Oddly enough, it happened while I was reading.
This is my realization. I’m not the kind of writer who can write x amount of words every day. It just doesn’t work well with my overall personality. I tend to work in spurts, largely due to the manic side of my bipolar disorder.
But I’ve read so many bits of writing advice that tell you that you have to write EVERY SINGLE DAY. Maybe that works for these people, but it doesn’t work for me. Writing every day makes it feel like an obligation, and I begin to resent it.
Instead, I’m going to focus on writing when I have time during the week. I know I can do well writing in spurts, so I’m hopeful that, in two or three days, I can hit the same 7,000 words I’d produce if I did write 1,000 words every day.
In the end, I think this approach will be better for my productivity, my mental health, and my passion for writing.
I’ve written a number of posts on this subject, but I feel like it’s important to write another one. As writers, we are not writing machines. We are human beings with all kinds of interests and obligations. Sometimes, I have to remind myself of this.
In the end, writing is something I want to enjoy doing. The biggest part of making it enjoyable is taking out the pressure I’ve been putting on myself.
So I am no longer going to beat myself up for not writing or not editing. I am no longer going to scold myself for missing a tentative deadline. I am no longer going to pressure myself to write X number of books per year.
Writing is just one part of who I am, and I want to enjoy it again. But other parts of me are just as important. I’m a student. I’m a son. I’m a gamer. I’m a reader. I’m an engineer by trade and a scientist by nature.
Most importantly, I’m a slave to our feline overlords, and sometimes they don’t want me to write.
In the end, I have to do what’s best for me. I don’t want to forget about my readers (few though they are). So I just want everyone to know I am writing. It’s just not the sole focus of my life. I tried to put that kind of time and effort into it, and it sucked all the joy out of the process.
As someone who struggles with depression, I don’t need that kind of pressure making something I enjoy doing feel like work.
So I hope everyone will be patient with me.