Monday, 3 August 2015

Writing: why you shouldn't let go of your passion

Writing is a huge passion of mine, and lately I have neglected it. I kept making excuses for myself, some of them valid such as having to prioritise school work, others less so. I'd write down the occasional notes and go through what I'd written previously, but I could not bring myself to actually sit down and do it.

There are several reasons for me doing so. One of these reasons was that what I wrote felt inadequate. They say that you ought to write every day, or work to a schedule which encourages you to write frequently and when you do so, not everything you write is going to turn out great. As a perfectionist hoping to write a fantasy book trilogy (having never even written anything longer than 15,000 words of an uncompleted story so terrible it couldn't be saved) writing continuously is a challenge. Writing to a high standard every day is impossible. When the goal is to write something so large, motivating oneself is a difficult task.

I kept putting my story off, telling myself I will write it later when I was in a better frame of mind. But the truth is that there isn't always a better time to do things. It got to the point where I was too scared to write because it had been so long. All it took was a couple of weeks to completely throw me off, my confidence gone. Once that happens, it's difficult to get started again.

This goes for all passions or hobbies. They require commitment, which can be a hard thing to give.

Here are 5 Quick Tips I've learnt on how to stay motivated:

1. Just write it. It doesn't matter how terrible it is or if you know you could do better. The chances are that you are going to go over it again at a later point because having a perfect first draft is impossible, so it doesn't have to be great straight away.

2. Write for you. If it's something you enjoy then it shouldn't matter. Don't think about what others think of your writing, because it's not them that you are trying to please. You are your number 1 fan as well as your top critic, so you should prioritise your thoughts before anyone else's.

3. Go through things you've written before. Learn to laugh at the embarassingly bad things you have written, but acknowledge that there was some good as well. Know that you can only improve from what you've written in the past.

4. Write a little every day. Last night I only wrote 310 words, but it made me feel so much better to know that at least I was making progress again.

5. Know that there is never going to be a better time to write. You have to make the time. It's alright if one day you can't write, but try to write regularly even if you don't follow a set schedule.

I can't say that I follow all of these tips myself all the time, but I am trying to, as writing is something that is very important to me.

If you have any other motivational tips or writing advice in general I'd love to hear it! Just leave a comment below.


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