Saturday, June 8, 2013

Dear Writer: It's Okay Not To Write Sometimes

"I advise writing to oneself. If you don't want to read it, nobody else is going to read it." ~ S.E. Hinton

Dear writer, if you read my last message, you know that sometimes life gets in the way and you experience what is called a "life roll." It's bound to happen at one point or another. If ones takes over and you found you haven't written for some time, or at least not written to whatever level or standards you declared to yourself, you might feel guilt or disappointment. It is easy to blow things out of proportion. After all, most fiction writers are drama queens to one level or another. It's a bi-product of making things up all time in the stories we write.

Even if the events that sent you off on that life roll are now over or you're adjusting to a new paradigm, you might be wondering why the writing hasn't bounced back. You might be wondering, 'why haven't I gotten back on that old horse and resumed the pace I had set?' I don't know your reasons, but I have a few reasons besides the adjustments I've been making since I had to take on a part-time job.

I've been second-guessing myself and evaluating what I really want to do as a writer or maybe as a storyteller. I am really thinking about the subject that the quote at the beginning of this post mentions. I am not writing because I really am not sure whether I'm writing to myself or getting caught up in the idea of writing to readers or to some market in particular. The expectations that this can foster affects whether I am going to produce something or not.

I forget that I need to write stories that I find interesting and entertaining, first and foremost. All of the other considerations have to come somewhere beyond a distant second. I need to enjoy the stories I'm spinning. Otherwise, I have to wonder what it is I'm doing. I've said before that writing has to be fun or just won't do it. That basic philosophical point is a hard one to swallow at times. I believe it, but putting the ideas into practice can be difficult.

I do believe that if I'm not writing something that touches me on these kinds of levels that, ultimately, they will not be enjoyed by readers. What do you think, Dear Writer? Do you agree with me or no?

It's okay not to write sometimes. Especially when you just don't know whether what you've tried to write just isn't fitting that important criteria of being fun and entertaining. There no reason to beat yourself up about not putting down new words, if those words aren't ones written first for yourself. Just give yourself some time, seek out the stories that are fun for you and that speak to you. Then you'll be amazed at what might happen.

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