WHEN WRITING IS MORE THAN A HOBBY

Journal 3RD JUNE 2014

I have recently been on one of my writing lows. The kind I totally avoid writing and tell myself things like “writing is meant to be fun; if you don’t feel like doing it, just don’t!” That was until I recalled my plan at the beginning of this year- the whole reason why 52 shorts was conceived. I want to just write novels but I had yet (and have yet) to master the discipline for the novel I want to work on. I have to say so far, consistency is not one of my strongest traits.

There are days that I finish my stories just fine with no drama and I love that, but soon as I set myself a deadline or a target, I kind of veer off as though I have something against goals and targets. I hate being boxed- I think that’s it. I hate being boxed even by myself.

But what does that spell for I who seeks to be a professional writer? Should I teach myself to stick to deadlines? Should I box myself and try to hit those targets or should I just go with the flow? Problem with going with the flow is that writing is something I want to dive into for the long haul- I want to actually write lots of things and for that to happen successfully, I must discipline myself to the point that it becomes a part of me- something I do naturally- not something whose time slot comes and I go like “Writing? Now?!”

I think the trick is to bring in some fun into it. To be writer means to go out and to watch life with the “eye”- (call me illuminati and I’ll shoot you!) While I like to be lost in my head even in crowds, I actually do not mind watching life unfolding and finding stories from the things I see. I do like watching people and imagining things about them- so that could be fun. Watching people I don’t mind.

Also, I read somewhere that it helps to reward myself for goals accomplished e.g. if I complete say, two stories, I must do something special for myself at the end of the week.

So there! Things I need to learn:

1-      How to make writing fun and consistent

2-      How to say no to myself.

I think writing for me now is like professional dancing or competition swimming. Where once it was a hobby- that thing I did only when I felt like- it has now become so serious a thing to me I must be more- do more. Thing is, when something starts to get serious, there is always more you need to give and it’s no longer just a hobby- unless you want it to remain just a hobby- which I don’t. I have enough hobbies and writing is no longer one of them.

I care a lot about writing and much as I think it should be all fun, I know commitment is not easy in the beginning. I need to get through these first difficult stages of writing even when I don’t feel like. I need to write even when it’s not fun. I need to tell myself that like a dancer, there are times the feet hurt and the body tires, but I must push on because it is as important as breathing- you don’t just stop because your lungs stung. You breathe on until the sting goes away.

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11 thoughts on “WHEN WRITING IS MORE THAN A HOBBY

  1. Me again!
    Just checking that you are okay with this being included in the book:

    ‘I care a lot about writing and much as I think it should be all fun, I know commitment is not easy in the beginning. I need to get through these first difficult stages of writing even when I don’t feel like it. I need to write even when it’s not fun. I need to tell myself that like a dancer, there are times the feet hurt and the body tires, but I must push on because it is as important as breathing- you don’t just stop because your lungs sting. You breathe on until the sting goes away.’

    Also, I was wondering if you’d like to answer some writing questions for the book to be part of it in a bigger way. Anything that resonates with me will go in the book.
    Feel free to pass, just thought I’d check.
    JD

      1. Ooh, just saw this. Sent an email with some questions. Feel free to also answer: why do you blog/what’s the best thing about blogging?
        And please do try to get the answers to me asap as I’m hoping to finish the book by July. No need to write anything fancy – just real and honest words is great.

        1. I blog because its a chance to be heard by so many people all at once- and in return, its always great finding actual people who think like me- somewhere in the world. I find myself in many situations where I’m with people who don’t get me and to be able to interact with kindred spirits online- even though I might never meet – is a really big deal for me.

  2. I love your 52 shorts idea and would love to do that!
    Love some of your words here too. Most of the time writing is fun, but sometimes I just have to do it even when it isn’t.
    I was wondering if I could use some of your words in a book I’m working on where real people who write share about writing. It’s to inspire people to write. I was wondering if you’d also like to answer some writing questions and anything that resonates with me will go in the book.
    All credit would go to you and your name, age and location would be included.
    All good if you’re not interested. Just thought I’d check.
    JD.

    1. I’m all for spreading the good chi so yes, go right ahead ans use whatever words resonate with your book 🙂 And do some 52 shorts too! I love reading other people’s stories too! Cheers JD

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