Let me totally honest: this blog post isn’t for you. It’s for me. Well, I’m hoping that it will be useful to you, too! But the amount I’m writing is something that weighs constantly on my mind.
Because, you know, if you want to be a writer then…you’ve got to write things. That’s the one bit of writing advice that is actually, genuinely, universally true. To be a writer you must write. It’s where you get into the specifics about how often and how much and what and when that it gets into your mileage may vary territory.
And I know this. I know that there are writers who always write daily regardless of anything and that’s how they work. I know there are writers who produce one book every 10 years and that’s how they work. There are even more people somewhere inbetween that.
I know that I’m comparatively early on in this journey, and I might not be sure where on that spectrum I fall. That I might not know if I need to write daily or if I’m going to write in bursts. That this all might be a process of learning that, and part of learning that will include times where I don’t write at all.
I know, too, that I’m still writing two blog posts and a poem a week, that I’m writing for my volunteer job, that I’m writing things for roleplaying events when I want to, that I’m telling stories multiple times a week in tabletop games. That my job is more than just writing and, almost universally, all of the other parts of it are going really well. That I am, basically, killing it.
But honestly? I wake up every day feeling guilty for not writing. I get, at points, overwhelmed and paralysed by the realisation that I’m not working on some kind of fiction. Pushing out a poem every week is often a struggle because it’s such an intense reminder of that.
I can’t properly express to you how much I beat myself up about this – other than to say that it is constant, and entirely negative, and that the worst thing is that I know it’s pointless.
Above all, though, I know that if it were a friend going through this, I would be telling them that it’s okay. It’s okay. If you don’t want to write more right now, you don’t want to, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you’re not a writer. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed.
You’re more than this one thing.