Some days you feel blocked. Stuck. At least in my case, it’s like there’s a layer of fog around my brain and I have to really push through it and write some throwaway paragraphs until the fog clears.
And then some days you are so far into a flow state that you do not want to stop writing. You almost can’t.
Those days are the best days. They’re the days you don’t have to sit back in your chair and wonder why you ever thought being a writer was a good idea (but those days, still, are worth it too). But there always comes that point when you have to stop writing. Because you have homework. You have to go into the office. You have to eat, sleep, get groceries, see that friend who’s only in town for a day.
BUT YOU JUST WANT TO WRITE.
You just want to stay in your pajamas with your coffee or tea or hot chocolate in front of your computer and spend the day completely engrossed in your story, interruption- and responsibility-free. That is all you want. IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?
Technically, yes. Because even the ‘real’ writers, the full-time, stay-at-home, get-paid-to-tell-stories authors you are thinking of have to quit writing and adult. Adulting is hard. Especially when you have finally found a hobby and/or job that makes you actually want to get up in the morning and makes it possible to hate Mondays just a little bit less.
How are we supposed to deal with this? Because creativity, once you are completely submerged in it, is very hard to pull away from. The way you feel when you know exactly what you are going to write next before you write it is one of very few indescribable things about creating. But you don’t feel that way every single time you sit down to write. So when you do, you want to cherish those moments. You don’t want them to end. Having to walk away is disappointing. It sucks.
But there is one good thing that comes from this dilemma, and it’s that if you feel that disappointed and heartbroken when you have to stop doing something, you know you have found your thing.
You know that when that test is over or your homework is done or you clock out and come back home again, when your to-do list has been stripped down to those tasks that can wait until tomorrow, your thing, the thing that makes you feel that way that cannot be described, will still be there.
In the real world we cannot always do for a living that thing that makes us feel the way we feel when we are writing. So we have to somehow let the promise of getting to do what we love on our own time get us through the things we would rather not be doing. It isn’t that we do not want to live our lives: but we want writing to be a bigger part of that life we are living.
This is how writing stays fun and stops feeling like work. This is how we find joy in even the most mundane parts of our lives. Knowing that though we would much rather be writing, we will always have writing to come back to at the end of a long day. Whenever we are feeling angry or frustrated, we will always have writing to make us feel good again.
Those other responsibilities, the parts of our days we spend doing other things, they pull us away from our stories so we have time to think. So we continue to experience life, so we can write with a much broader perspective on the subjects we address. You might think, in the moment, that walking away from your story is the worst thing in the world. It isn’t. You enjoy writing because it is a luxury. If you were to write all day, every day, you would grow tired of it. But that will not happen. And that is why you still write.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter.
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