“Writing is the most fun you can have by yourself.” — Terry Pratchett
I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve been asked how to “just do it”.
The “it” referring to any number of things from studying, practicing, writing, painting, creating, etc.
The original question that sparked this article was framed in this way:
“How do you just write? I can’t stop procrastinating.
I ‘want’ to write, but i just keep finding distractions and postponing it and I really just want to be able to write and be inspired.”
I don’t know how many people have given me some version of this. Let’s start by unpacking it.
“How do you just write?”
You open the drawer. You pour some butt glue on the chair. You sit down in front of your laptop, your pen & paper, your typewriter, or what have you.
Then, you write.
There’s not much else to it. What trips us up is that we expect our work to be great. Or at the very least good. That’s probably not going to happen. And if it does, only so on some rare occasions.
The second hurdle facing us is that we expect ourselves to feel like doing the work, to not have any doubt, not face any challenges, not start thinking about a million other things, not procrastinate, and so on.
Well, we’re more than likely NOT GOING to feel like doing the work. And we’re actually GOING to doubt ourselves, face challenges, start thinking about a million other things, procrastinate, etc.
It’s just going to happen.
Now, if we look at reality the way it is rather than the way we wish it were, we can actually start doing something about it.
What it seems like you’re really doing is this: You want to want to write.
However, the reality is that your mind is not cooperating with you on this matter. So, what can you do?
You can accept that you actually don’t feel like it and do it anyway.
But it won’t be good unless you’re inspired and want to do it, right?
If you want to wait until inspiration strikes, go ahead. But that’s really a crapshoot. Also, it’s only going to come in fits and starts. It won’t be continuous. As a result you won’t have much quality control either.
What’s the alternative?
You can’t necessarily control whether it’s 5 pages or 50, whether inspired or not, whether you “feel like it” or not.
All you can control is whether or not you’re in front of your desk and doing the work. Day in and day out.
While it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, not is it all doom and gloom either. In fact, it’s the one of the most rewarding and pleasurable things I can think of doing.
Just please, don’t think that it’s safe or easy. It’s not. You need to get really comfortable with the discomfort writing can bring.
It’s not always about the results. There’s not much we can do to ensure that our writing is successful other than keep showing up and honing our craft.
The only thing we’re guaranteed is the process.
If you can learn to fall in love with the process you’re set.
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Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!