September 30 2020

Writing Myths… And Other Fairytales

   Hi there, Strangers!

   Today we’ll talk about fairytales. More specifically, about one of the myths about writing.

   Writing is hard. You have to keep yourself motivated even when you’re barely able to function; you have to write or edit even when you’re tired or sad or angry or simply numb. And I am not even going to go into how hard it is to come up with ideas and mix them in a way that makes sense.

   Now imagine that on top of all that, you have a little human to take care of. In my country, maternity leave can be up to 2 years long. This means you can raise your child and take care of it until it is ready to go to daycare – which is awesome (although during the second year, the pay is laughable). But for us writers, this is a problem. It’s not even that it’s that hard to take care of a baby (at least for me, my son is a little angel).

   The trouble does not come from a lack of time. You can still find time between feeding, changing, putting it to sleep, laundry, dinner, chores and breathing. And no, I do not mean to be sarcastic.

   The problem is interruption. 

   Interruption is the biggest enemy of writing. I know people say to write every day, even if it is 15 minutes a day and you’ll do great. 

   That’s a myth.

   Sure, writing in your lunch break or on the train is great for building a habit or putting down notes or a scene that has been haunting you all day. But this time is way too short to write something good or meaningful. I hate to generalize, but most people tend to need time to get into a particular mindset.

    If you can do it with a snap of your fingers, well… good for you! The rest of us need silence or good music, coffee or wine, our favorite chair or favorite spot in the cafe. And then we need people to back off and let us swim in our pool of ideas for a while. Alone.

   Writing demands dedication. If you want to write well, you need to realize that. If you’re serious about your writing, you need to be ready to sacrifice something else to make it work. Skip that rerun of Friends, say no to the party on Friday, turn the Internet off and open your word document. Don’t try to do something else while you’re writing the epic battle for the future of the world or the dramatic death of your protagonist’s pet turtle. 

   Focus. On. Your. Damn. Book.

  Or don’t. I’m not your mother. But I do believe in you. The world needs more excellent writers to dispel the dust of everyday life. Writing is hard, but someone gotta do it. And if you’ve heard the call, that someone is you 🙂

Yours truly,