Writing is not easy. If you have ever found yourself forcing out a few words, whilst listening to a crowd of negative voices in your head or staring miserably at 1567 glorious words you wrote yesterday, which now read like utter drivel, you will understand.
Social media doesn’t help. There are days when it feels like everyone else has the perfect writing life. They’ve exceeded their daily word count targets, planned a wonderful book marketing campaign, made contact with an interested agent and taken over every form of social media known to mankind…all before lunch.
You, on the other hand have not written anything since you woke up because you can’t find your favourite pen, the coffee machine is on the blink, you are still nursing an eight-day cold and the kids are running riot.
It’s on days like these when we need to read about other writers and their not so perfect writing lives. Their stories are smile inducing and seem to give you a much-needed virtual hug.
Sharing moments from our not so perfect writing lives is important and something we should all do. These moments help other writers in the following ways:
- Reading about another writer’s not so perfect writing life helps alleviate those crap feelings which we all get. The ones which usually start with ‘I must be the only writer who..’
- These moments makes us all smile and nod knowingly at our laptop screen. In view of the pain and suffering we all go through with our writing we can all do with a smile.
- Sharing stuff like this makes us feel like we’re not alone. We are in this together.
- Friendships are made when we share moments from our not so perfect writing lives. We can identify with other people going through similar episodes of pain and suffering.
- We are making art and the creation of any art is messy. It’s always good to look up and see you are not the only writer making a creative mess.
- Social media is not real life.
- Reading about not so perfect writing moments distracts us from comparing ourselves to other writers. We forget the ‘I could never write as something as good as her,’ and say things like ‘I love the way she likens her writer’s block to a bad case of constipation – so true!’
- Reading about another writer who is clearly having a tough day but is still carrying on can be more inspirational, than reading about a writer who has just got a publishing contract. This is when a not so perfect writing life moment becomes powerful. You think to yourself ‘blimey – if he’s still smiling and carrying on with his writing after ditching half his novel, I can struggle on with my first chapter.’
So, on the days when your writing sounds like something the three-year old next door would write, share the fact you are taking a break from it and are sat wrapped in a comforting blanket, watching Netflix whilst stuffing your face with chocolate. Share this not so perfect writing life moment! I guarantee there will be someone else in the world going through the same thing.
When your writer’s block is getting you down and you are sat behind the shed in the garden, with a glass of wine and a box of tissues, share this not so perfect writing life moment. There are other writers around the world sat behind their garden shed pouring themselves another large glass and toasting their absent creative muse.
When you have had more rejection emails than hot dinners in the past week and are now toasting marshmallows on a bonfire (made from wood and your draft novel) – share this not so perfect writing life moment! There are other draft novel bonfires being lit all over the world. You are not alone.
Let’s use our not so perfect writing life moments to help others.
Have a great day!