Writing Doesn’t Have to Be Some “Big Production”

Allison Burney

Take the drama out of it and let your humanity back in

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Something feels different this time around.

Different — but good.

I’ve once again focused my sights on writing this week, but I think I’ve approached it from a totally new angle than I usually do.

In the past, I’ve made a big production of it, treating the start of a writing challenge or decision to write again like I’m setting off on some big, brave voyage to save the world.

It felt serious, heavy, and daunting at times like it was the ultimate test of worthiness.

Do I have what it takes? Gulp.

Writing Is Not “All or Nothing”

I’m sure you can guess how that turned out…

Time after time, I’d be doing great, on a writing streak for days or weeks, or sometimes even months. And then, for whatever reason, I’d miss a day. And from there, the house of cards would crumble all around me.

I’d feel like a failure, yet again. Feeling like a failure only led to more inaction (no surprise there!), and suddenly months had gone by, and I hadn’t written a word.

It was all or nothing — at least that’s how I approached it.

But as

Stephen Moore says here:

You can’t afford prolonged spells away, announce your return, give up again, and repeat the cycle. If you want any success in writing, you can’t become radio silent.

We all know deep down that it’s true, even if we wish it weren’t.

It’s Time to Ditch the Drama

So this time, I’ve decided to take a much less dramatic approach and not put so much pressure on myself.

I’m still going to make a commitment to show up and write daily, but I’m going to allow myself to be human about it this time.

I’m not a robot. I’m not a machine. I’m not a computer, either. I have feelings and emotions and flaws and thoughts and fears and responsibilities and a job — all kinds of other things that can sometimes interfere with my “perfect” writing streak.

But that’s okay — I don’t need to be perfect. I just need to pick myself up and keep going when I fall off the track, or something derails my plans.

Being Unknown Isn’t a Bad Thing

I’ve read some articles lately about the joys of writing while you’re still unknown, and nobody is reading.

That might sound weird, but think about it: there’s a lot less pressure to “perform” when millions of people worldwide aren’t holding their breath until your next book comes out or you publish another life-changing article.

Being unknown can be an excellent thing. There’s no need to worry about who’s reading and what everyone else thinks. Why not just assume that no one’s reading? That way, you have total freedom to write about your heart’s desire every single day, without the added fear of scrutiny and judgment and criticism.

You can just forget about all the noise for a while and happily spend some time in your own little content-creating bubble. You can write down whatever wants to be written and send those thoughts out into the world with no expectation of getting anything back or “making it” anywhere.

You can just see this time in your life for what it is — an experiment.

You Only Have One Job to Do—Write

The purpose of an experiment is to observe what happens to learn from it. But before we can draw conclusions, we have to gather enough data.

In this case, that means producing a body of work from which to analyze later.

So right now, your only job (and mine, too) is to write.

What if, instead of shouting our intentions to be a writer from the rooftops, we just quietly put our heads down and got to work? What if we focused on the actual work of writing words and gave much less thought/energy to the concept of “being a writer”?

What if we stopped checking our stats and just let our Partner Program payment summary be a nice surprise at the end of the month?

Allow Yourself to Be Free

Wouldn’t that feel better?

Wouldn’t we actually end up accomplishing more?

I’m convinced that this is a better way forward.

After all, why shouldn’t you allow yourself to be unlimited when it comes to writing when so many things about this crazy life we’re living are limitless?

Photo by Sean Lee on Unsplash

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Writer & proofreader. I love travel, reading, coffee, and exploring nature. On a mission to keep learning, growing, and enjoying this adventure we call life.

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