Anyone can write, but that doesn't make everyone a writer. The thing that makes me a writer is an ever-present drive inside me to create with the written word. I want to tell all of the stories that are always being constructed within my mind. All of the half-developed characters in my head coerce me into finishing them and knock on the door of my consciousness, begging to be let out. So, I do.
However, as any writer knows, we fall in and out of writing at different points in our lives. I've had periods of time where I write something new every single day and love what I'm creating. I've had points in time where there is absolutely nothing that I feel the urge to write about. And then there are times like now where I have all the ideas in the world, but I just can't bring myself to write.
To the writer who has been struggling to find their motivation, this one is for you —
This might be one of the hardest parts of writing. It's not the actual act of writing — that's the best part — but the challenge is in finding the motivation to put pen to paper or to put fingers to keys and get the thing out. It can be so much fun to think about how you want a project to go, but when it comes time to get it out, you don't want to release it from the perfection that your mind preserves the moments in or it just doesn't come out the way I want it to time and time again. It's discouraging. It's made me feel like less of a writer at times for not being able to do the thing that I love the way that I want to. Even with this letter, I'm doubting the way it's turning out.
We need to lose our self-doubt. Most of the challenge with getting started comes with the fear that whatever we do, no matter how hard we try, won't be what we want. Maybe it won't. The key to being a great writer is persevering even when things aren't turning out the way you like. Nothing comes out perfect in the first draft and it's so important to just power through and tell the story you need to tell, no matter how it turns out the first time. The beautiful thing about writing is that it's entirely yours and you can change as much of it as you want and it's still yours.
We need to write for ourselves. So often I get discouraged and put things on hold because I'm not sure what I'm writing is worth writing about or is something that others would enjoy. Why? I am the only person that my writing is really for. It's the product of the activity of the thing that I love most. Whether I want to make a poem of my grocery list or write the next "Harry Potter," I have to be doing it because it's the thing that I love first and foremost. Without the pressure to impress the world, writing can be more honest and more for the people who matter (You!). If other people like it too, great. Remove the pressure and enjoy the journey.
Discouraged writer, we've all been there and this frustration won't last forever. Write a little every day and the challenge of writing the things that you want to most won't seem as challenging. You are a writer at your core and I'm excited to see what you accomplish with your words. Writers keep on writing, even when it's hard. I believe in you. We can do it together.
A discouraged writer on her way to writing again