The Blank Page is a new weekly series on Novelty Revisions dedicated to any writer who is just beginning their journey or starting again after a long pause. Check back every Monday for more tips and inspiration.
I know I was lucky to grow up confident in having a passion for writing.
There are people who spend years — decades, even — trying to pin down exactly what it is that makes them feel fulfilled, something they can do with their time to change lives and the world.
But while I spent many years aware that writing as a passion I strongly identified with, writing was not MY passion.
There came a point when I had to sit myself down and ask a pretty serious question: “Is writing really what you want to spend the rest of your life doing?”
And briefly — very briefly — I stopped writing.
Only then did I realize what it felt like to be called to something, to know deep inside myself that I could not live without putting words to paper.
That was my new beginning. That was truly the start of my serious journey toward making writing a career.
If you’re doubting yourself as a beginning writer, here’s what you need to know.
Writing — good writing, writing that speaks to the masses, writing that truly matters — does not happen unless you truly want it to happen.
Some days you might feel like your motivation to keep writing no longer exists. But these are the days that can show you just how meaningful a place writing holds in your life and in your heart.
Because even when you’re not doing it — whether it’s because you’re having to take a break or you’ve seemingly given up — you miss it.
You miss it so terribly that it almost hurts.
Even though you don’t feel up to the challenge, even though every part of you seems to be screaming “don’t do it!” you want to do it anyway. You know it’s going to be hard, you know you’re not necessarily going to enjoy every minute or part of it.
But you crave it so intensely that you can barely think about anything else. It’s on your mind even when you try to forget about it. It’s constantly tugging at you, distracting you.
Almost as if there’s a small voice inside your head saying write. Please. Tell a story. Make words happen.
If writing is your calling, then it will call to you. No amount of resistance or distraction will silence it. And even when you don’t immediately respond with action, you can answer. You can say “yes” to that call.
Does this mean writing will always come easily to you? Absolutely not. Feeling drawn to a creative outlet does not automatically mean you’ll always perform without fault or even that you’ll always enjoy the time you spend doing it. Like anything else, writing is an activity that requires energy and patience and focus. Realistically, you’re just not always going to be able to meet all those demands on certain days.
And that’s OK.
But if not writing starts a dull ache inside you — not of guilt, but of longing — then that’s how you know this is where you’re supposed to be. This is what you’re supposed to be doing.
You are a writer not because you should be, but because you want and need to be, for your own personal well-being. This is not about anyone else’s plans or hopes for you. This is about what YOU want. What YOU desire. What makes YOU feel whole.
If you feel lost without writing, then that’s exactly where you belong.
Make the most of the bond you share with your outlet of creative expression. It’s not just going to enrich your life. It’s going to transform it — for the better.
Just starting out as a writer or returning from an extended hiatus? Let me know how I can help. Just drop a comment below with your questions/concerns — I am here to serve.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is an editor and writer, and a 12-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food, and Star Wars.