Writing is Breathing

First comes denial. I’ve overwhelmed at work, the house needs cleaning, the magazine needs editing, the website needs tweaking… It’s not my fault I have no time to write! As soon as all this gets done I’ll be back in the writing seat, no problem.

Then comes bargaining. I’m a organizer, a to-do list lover, a calender maker. I schedule in time to write. Sure, I can’t do it today, but tomorrow I’ll do TWO slots instead of one. I’ll be caught up in no time, right?

Then I watch the deadlines on the calender zoom past me and depression sets in. Nothing I write is good enough. And since writing is the only thing I’m supposed to be good at, well I’m not good at anything else, either.

“The reason writer’s block is so painful is because writers really do hurt when they’re not writing (whether they’re cognizant of it or not). Writers need to write the way most other people need to breathe and when they are not writing, writers grieve. They mope. They wallow.”
– From The five stages of writer’s block

It’s very easy for me to convince myself that I have no time to write. The house needs cleaning, I’m tired, there’s so much work-work to be done, I need to schedule and plan Ergofiction articles, write book reviews for Quillsandzebras, not to mention blog posts, Twitter socialising, manic marketing for the upcoming Other Sides…. Busy, busy, busy. But either very little of it is productive work, or I let the importance of writing slip far down to the bottom of my list.

That’s why — however hard I find it to write on a daily basis — I’m thankful for the Novel Push Initiative. Even when every word is a momentous struggle, I have no excuses and must at least try. I tell myself it’s keeping me sane. It probably is.

How do you make sure you dedicate enough time to writing?

If you’re a writer and haven’t yet heard of iggi U’s DIY MFA you should check it out as there is a wealth of useful posts on creativity, writing, and more.

6 thoughts on “Writing is Breathing

  1. I don’t know that I’ve ever dedicated ENOUGH time to my writing – I don’t think I will ever feel like it is enough, not unless it was my full time job and I didn’t have to support my family otherwise!

    This may seem strange, but I get these feelings about writing. Sometimes I feel happy and content with the quantity and quality of what I’ve written, and sometimes I feel frustrated and almost guilty for not writing more or better – when I get those bad feelings, I generally write write write as much as I can until that feeling goes away.

    Obviously this isn’t a great planned-out method of writing. I don’t keep a schedule, I don’t keep a goal, but for the last few years no matter what I am working on I have averaged between 3 to 5K words per week, lately it’s been even more, with the new serial starting, and I’m really happy with that.

    But I think that this is a personal thing for everyone, and it’s probably not best to compare yourself to other people when it comes to word counts. Writer’s block is a whole different story… UGH!

    • 3 to 5 k?! I’m envious! I’m lucky if I squeeze out 2-3… Although I guess that doesn’t include articles and blog posts and such :-P

      I think a lot of us get those bad feelings. My problem is I then have difficulty forcing myself to write write write! So it gets worse. I do try to follow a schedule though, which keeps me on track.

  2. “well I’m not good at anything else, either”

    Um, hello? Ms organisation? Ms editor? Ms reporting on writing events as they happen?

    Not good at anything else. Puh-LEASE.

  3. Hello!
    First time poster here… eek!
    I totally know that feeling. I think I’ve tried to set myself too high goals in terms of writing, and so when I’m supposed to sit down and write it seems like a mountain to get my wordcount. So I’m going to try and bring it down to something I know I’ll be able to hit every day and then take it from there.
    Of course that doesn’t count nanowrimo coming up in november where I’m going to hopefully blow my writing goal out of the water :p

    • Yeah, sometimes I have unrealistic expectations and then just end up disappointing myself. I’ve actually decided not to take part in NaNoWriMo this year because I find it far too stressful — with everything I do, writing 1,667 words a day is impossible!

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