One of the things I like most about our writers group, the Saturday Writers, is that we are each at different stages with our writing. And because of that we each bring unique insights to the group.
For me, I’m still in the hobby stage of writing. Writing has been with me for many years, but it is still a dream, not a goal. I dabble in it, I don’t seriously pursue it. And knowing that about myself I can throw off the guilt that we women take on too easily.
No “I should be writing more.” No blame, no guilt trips. Just writing for fun. Writing for the sake of writing. Because I want to work on a story, not because I have to. And that is an okay place to be. When I’m ready to make writing a bigger part of my life, it will be there.
But like any good hobby, I spend a lot of time thinking about writing and studying books on writing. If I pack enough writing knowledge into my brain, then when writing takes center stage in my life, all that learning will be there, ready to use.
The book I’m currently reading is One Continuous Mistake: Four Noble Truths for Writers by Gail Sher. I really like her four truths. They are:
- Writers write.
- Writing is a process.
- You don’t know what your writing will be until the end of the process.
- If writing is your practice, the only way to fail is to not write.
I understand #2. After all this study and reading on writing, I understand that writing is a process. You don’t just flip a switch and instantly become a bestseller. It takes time and effort, like any occupation or hobby.
#3 also makes sense. You have to finish the story to see what it actually becomes. It certainly never looks like the story I had in my mind when I started. But if it bears some resemblance, I’m okay with that.
#1 and #4 are my sticking points. I don’t have the daily practice of writing. When I did write daily, even just in a journal, I found that my “official” writing, whatever story I was working on, came out so much easier. So my challenge is to get back into the daily habit. Because I want to work on my story daily, not because I have to. Less guilt, more fun, more writing.
Where are you at on your writing path?