Have you ever been afraid of something and yet you love it in the same breath? That’s how I feel about writing for myself.Read More
Lest you get the idea that writing is always romantic and idyllic, it is also sometimes a struggle.
Aside from the fact that I have a day job and another job on the side (both of which actually involve a lot of writing), there are also too many distractions around me. Or rather, I am easily distracted. I have my books, my TV shows, my movies, my journaling and scrapbooking, my friends, and of course, the ultimate distractions of all, Facebook and Instagram. While these things do help me become a better writer, they will not essentially finish my book for me.
And while there is a certain joy when I finally do get myself in front of my laptop or on my notebook and actually write, the journey to actually get me there can sometimes be more difficult than actually writing it.
"Why do I even bother trying to finish this, no one's gonna read it anyway? Wouldn't I be much more productive by doing something else? No one cares whether I finish a book, let alone two books! You don't have anything new to say! Some people do it better, so just let them write their books and you do your job by reading them."
Those are just some of the voices in my head that I have to face every time I try to write. But what I learned these past few weeks is that instead of pushing these voices down, you can actually face them and listen to them and answer them. As Aueee suggested during #WriteAwayPH, invite your inner critic to coffee and you'll realize she's not that scary once you get to face her.
There are days when those voices will win. And I think we just have to embrace that struggle, and understand that it is part of the writing process. Otherwise, if it were really that easy, then all writers would probably be churning out buttloads of books.
So I say, welcome the happiness and the struggle that comes with being a writer. And as always, be kind to yourself.
I have never been the neatest and tidiest person. I may be good at organizing stuff but my work area and my room are messes, as my officemates and my mom have wirnessed daily. But my "there's order in my chaos" excuse cannot last forever. And I know that in order for me to properly work on my #NaNoWriMo17 goals and my two book projects, I need to have an actual clean area.
And so I spent my first day of the month just cleaning up this mess of a desk and trying to put some sense of order physically so that mentally I will also be able to focus on my main goals for this month, which is to make progress on those two books I promised myself I would finish by next year.
And lo and behold, I actually finally saw my desk! And cleaning it up really did clear the cobwebs from my mind. And so now I feel like I am ready to actually write some words down.
Some tips when setting up your writing area at home.
- Choose a place where you're comfortable in. You'll hopefully be spending several minutes or hours a day so it should be somewhere where you are both relaxed and alert.
- Don't write in a place where you'll be tempted to sleep or turn on the TV or chat with a family member. Remember, your writing time and space are sacred and so you should honor that.
- Do surround yourself with things that will inspire you. I don't know what that looks like for you, but for me, it's my favorite books, pens and notebooks (old and new), postcards, stickers, etc.
I also kind of gave up on my plan to go minimalist because I realized I really can't work if I don't have things surrounding me. So maybe that's another challenge for another year.
For now, let's just focus on #ProjectStoryAMonth and #ProjectGetOutOfBed, my two book projects which I will be working on over the next few months.