Writing Journeys & Destinations #SundayBlogShare #writers #writer

 

Back in November 2015 I found myself at an all time low with my writing. Things were bad. I was struggling to write anything and it was one of the darkest times of my writing career. Looking back now I don’t know how I managed to write a blog post each day, let alone slave away at the third draft of a novel.

The reason for this bleak writing phase was that my mind was focused too much on a writing destination and not on the actual writing journey.

Let me explain. Back in November I was obsessed with becoming a published author. Yes I know this is amusing but the daydream took over my blonde brain. Damn that sparkly and intoxicating published author daydream! Sigh!

It was all I thought about. Day and night I would use up valuable energy dreaming about getting published. I then grew impatient with myself for not having a completed manuscript and this led to frustration.

Writing became a chore. I wanted to be agreeing publishing deals, swanning about bookshops asking uninterested customers if they want a selfie with a published author and buying a wardrobe full of designer tweed. I did not want to be sat chained to my kitchen table hammering out a story I was barely interested in.

For most of November I  was emotional, stroppy and fed up.  I had become so preoccupied with one particular writing destination that I stopped enjoying the journey.

In December things came to a head. After a big emotional outburst (tears, door slamming, stomping, a lot of sarcastic comments and an attempt at writing some dark and depressing poetry) I decided to forget about writing destinations and to start enjoying my writing journey again. Sometimes you just have to lock that sparkly daydream away at the back of your mind.

So in order to start enjoying my journey again I took these steps:

  • I decided to follow my heart and only write things that made me feel happy. I put the third draft of my novel away as I realised that I had started to hate it. I binned the dark and depressing poetry too.
  • I made a story bucket list of all the genres and concepts I want to explore. I closed my eyes and chose one at random – something from the Vampire genre. So I started writing down some ideas.
  • I released myself from my own self limiting beliefs i.e. “you shouldn’t write comedy, you should write thrillers” – I started writing stuff that appealed to me.
  • Every time I thought about being a published author I quickly swapped it in my mind for something I was going to write about that day.
  • I became more mindful about my daily writing process and I started appreciating the little stuff like a quiet house when writing, the excited feeling I get just before I start and having a head full of characters, all talking at once.
  • I gave myself a break from blogging during December. I simply refreshed and re-blogged a load of my old posts from 2014. It worked.
  • I joined Wattpad and Instagram as I wanted to start interacting with readers and have some fun.

I entered 2016 a happier writer. I was focused on my writing journey again.

Looking back now I know I wasn’t ready to get into the world of publishing and I am glad I didn’t. The last few months have been the most valuable and enjoyable as a writer.

Sometimes we have to forget about our destination and enjoy the journey!

Let me know whether you have experienced anything similar?

Photo: Stocksnap

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I am a blonde writer of romantic comedy fiction.

41 thoughts on “Writing Journeys & Destinations #SundayBlogShare #writers #writer

  1. Wise words!

    I discovered the joys of self-publishing long before I published through a publisher, so I was never fixated on that. But I was, for a long time, fixated on sales. Which means book marketing.

    I’m still keen on marketing, but I’ve managed to distance myself from the actual sales. Most of the days I don’t even bother to check KDP reports anymore. Instead, like you, I prefer to focus on my writing again. It makes for a much healthier relationship with my Muse, that’s for sure!

  2. Great words of wisdom 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
    I`m at awe of your ability to write a blog post every day.
    But I surely enjoy reading stories! Have a nice Sunday 🙂

  3. As an indie author (I prefer this term to self-published) I struggle with the marketing and promoting piece of things. I still obsess over sales, but I’m moving more toward networking and interacting with readers and other authors. It’s an evolutionary process that I’m still going through.

  4. Good for you Lucy! I’ve been there. And like you, I try to focus on the love of writing and story-telling. If you’re not enjoying the process it’s not worth it.
    You’re a good writer. I’m so happy to hear you’re having a better year!

    1. Thx Kimberly – it’s nice to know I am not alone with this. Thx for your support and kind words during my journey. I am so lucky to have some fab followers like you 💐

  5. I love this. I currently have no destination in mind, although I’m still toying with the expat spy genre. I just want to tell stories.
    New blog design? I like it. It’s clean and loads really nicely.
    Tracey

  6. Wise words Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “Life is a journey, not a destination.” The same principle applies to writing.
    I did a lot of your bullet point three, i.e I “Should’ve” all over myself. I think the shoulds, for me, came from my inner critic and a critical parent which is a stopper for anything I did. Once I discovered it was up to me to let that go I had a much better attitude which showed up in longer writing spurts.

  7. Inspired words. I have to stop myself sometimes as well and ask why I really want to write, because when I do, a publishing deal is a small part of it, the enjoyment of seeing stories come to life is more fun and more rewarding.

      1. Well, you did say the characters were talking to you – when that happens, you have to write them down 🙂
        Looking forward to reading about your vampires…

  8. There were moments where I gave up on writing. Like you, I had dreams of being published. I thought taking classes in Creative Writing in college would help me with attaining that dream. But I didn’t understand the point of the classes. It wasn’t just about writing stories; it was about the passion for writing. I wasn’t willing to put in the work to fulfill that passion every day.

    As a result, I was so undisciplined. My writing suffered, and I gave up on it, even after getting my Bachelor’s degree. There were moments where I had flashes of getting back into writing, but would be disappointed if a story didn’t go exactly the way I hoped. And so, I would give up on it again. This was a cycle that lasted for a long time.

    A couple of years ago, I decided I was going to journal. It was a way I could write without feeling any pressure. So I did. I got such a joy out of it. It was there I decided to take back up the mantle of writing short stories. I had the notion of doing it differently. I wasn’t going to worry about everyone else; I was going to do it for me.

    I’m happy to say I’m still writing. I did take a break because I felt like I had to deposit in my creativity bank. Up until last week, I wasn’t journaling. I was letting other things take up my time. One day, I decided to write something and I ended up writing for about ten minutes.

    I think what changed me was letting go of the expectation of writing every day. It works for some people, but not me. Once I did that, I felt like I could enjoy writing again.

    Thank you for sharing your story. It means a lot.

  9. Have you read about Freefall writing – a concept developed and taught by Barbara Turner Vesselago? its life changing for a writer and her craft. Me? I just see publication of a novel as a far off dream that may or may not eventuate. In the meantime, I write, work, feed my family and am thankful for my small achievements so far.
    Good luck:)

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