Why do you write?
Everyone has their own answer to this question — there is no right or wrong response. Some people do it to relieve stress or sort through their emotional baggage. Others do it to stay connected with the outside world. And of course, there are those who write solely for the paycheck — it happens.
Even still, everyone who writes faces creative blocks. Maybe you’re fine until you hit a point where you’re doing more research than actual writing — and you hate that. Maybe you have no problem getting started, but finishing feels like an absolute foreign concept to you.
Maybe our hangups aren’t the problem, though.
Maybe we’re simply forgetting to look for the parts about writing we enjoy the most.
What you ‘like’ about writing will change the way you personally approach your craft.
Let’s say your favorite thing about writing is being able to share what you know with an audience interested in learning more about that subject.
So even though you might struggle to get started, and you don’t particularly enjoy the writing process itself, you’re much more likely to suck it up and do it anyway — because you care enough about getting your ideas out into the world for others to consume.
Many writers — especially newer aspiring writers (you rock!) — struggle to stay motivated. Everyone has a specific part of the process that either slows them down or stops them completely. Everyone. I struggle with starting. Once I get going, I have no problem getting my work done. But I never start writing exactly at 8 a.m. — it takes me an embarrassingly long time to get going.
That’s been a struggle for me for a long time. But I love researching and crafting stories around evidence so much that I’ve learned to push through it anyway. I’ve found the one thing I really like about the process, and I use that to fuel my motivation — even on Monday mornings, when all I want to do is sit in a beanbag chair, drink coffee, and watch Netflix.
Figure out that one thing you just like — a lot. And run with that. Keep your eye on that, push your way through to that, because whoever told you you’re obligated to love every single step of the process straight up lied. Even as a hobby, there are parts about writing you aren’t going to love. Instead of focusing on what’s hard, let’s try focusing on the highlights — the good stuff. These things are what make the hard parts seem less hard.
This won’t solve all your problems. You’ll still have rough days. You’ll still struggle, sometimes.
But remember: there’s a reason you’re doing this. There’s a part of this whole writing thing that’s keeping you from giving it up completely.
Hold tight to that. Let it carry you through. You won’t be disappointed with the results.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a nine-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.