Writing When I Don’t Feel Like It Is Good For Me

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I’ll start off today’s post with an apology for constantly bringing up my coursework, but it’s the only writing I’ve been able to squeeze in lately, which makes it all I have to talk about. But not for much longer!

Paired with course discussion, I’m riffing a bit off this post I wrote on writing drills a few months ago. At the time, I recognized the need to increase my writing output in order to gain a modicum of success. Just looking at my writing from a numbers perspective, the paltry output I had going on was nowhere near enough to tip the scales. What’s more, I realized I needed to better appreciate all the “wasted” writing time I was going to spend before I found success. The moral of my story was: practice, practice, practice. Or: write, write, write.

A quote from On Writing whispered around the periphery of my mind while I was writing this post, but I can’t seem to find the quote I was thinking of. In any case, I found a better one:

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” –Stephen King

I have to throw myself in the amateur category here. But I’m learning. In fact, I’m learning far quicker than I give myself credit for. One of the biggest takeaways I have from all these courses is that they constantly force me to write when I really don’t feel like it.

I’ve mentioned once or twice before that I’m a type A, yes? So regardless of how I’m feeling after hours at the day job and dealing with all of other life’s little things, I throw myself at these courses. I finish all the reading, I participate in all of the discussions, and I tackle all of the writing with any and all skill I possess—and I edit mercilessly. Rarely do I read an assignment sheet and think, “Wow, I’m so looking forward to doing this!” But I have completed every single one on time.

There’s always discussion in the writing world about waiting for the muse—every person on this site has talked about it at some point. And as much as I dislike the habit, I fall into it all the time; I am constantly waiting for the right time to write and that time rarely exists. There’s no difference between my course assignments and my own fiction projects other than outside accountability. I’m still working on the accountability issues but today’s epiphany should help with that.

Once I’m finished this final course and I’ve had a chance to step back and breathe, I want to look at this entire certificate program as a whole and take in all of the writing I’ve accomplished when I really, really didn’t feel like writing. I produced quality work in a tight timeframe because I had to. Did I enjoy myself? Yes, more often than not. I love accomplishing things even if I don’t love the actual work. And at the end of the day, I love writing.

When the muse isn’t knocking, I can and do write anyway—I’ve proven I can with hundreds of words.

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