Writing is like water to me. It’s something I need to survive. I have to have it in my life. It’s what I’m meant to do. It doesn’t mean it’s not hard.
I’m still focusing on my 100 Day Project, but I’m behind. Quite a bit behind. This week wasn’t the best week for writing. Of course, I should have tried to make time for even 10 minutes a day, but when I have to write an ENTIRE short story per day, only doing 10 minutes seems like a waste.
I have a hard time starting then stopping, especially on something like a short story where I like to write it in one sitting. But, I’ve been making the effort to actually stop in the MIDDLE of a story so that I have a jumping off point the next day.
I’ve been steadily moving forward on my 100 day project. I’m a few stories behind, but I’m not letting that be a reason for me to quit. I’ve written over 60 stories and 80,000 words since the beginning of April.
All this writing has really helped me create a daily habit where I don’t wait for the muse, I simply sit down and do it and I encounter little resistance because my mind is like, “Oh, we’ve done this before many times! Okay, let’s go!”
My skill to create a story with a solid beginning, middle, and satisfying conclusion on a first draft is getting so much better and more natural. I have to think less about the plot going in. I’ve never felt more challenged or rewarded as a writer.
I believe in setting lofty goals. I think you don’t really stretch yourself if you’re always setting goals that are “achievable”. Because really, would I rather achieve a small goal, or fall short of a big goal and go further than if I had stuck with the small goal?
Still, it doesn’t stop me from feeling like a failure. I found this quote at just the right time – it’s funny how life works that way:
“Failure is a condiment that gives success its flavor.” – Truman Capote
I feel like I’m failing because I am behind on my 100 Day Project, and because I haven’t written anything substantial on my novel since before the 100 Day Project, and even then it wasn’t much.
I think most writers want to be published, but we still have to do the work. We have to do it because we love writing. And I love writing with all I am. It’s just that I can’t do quite as much as I think I can do – or maybe I can, but I’m just not willing to sacrifice enough.
Writing is a sacrifice. You sacrifice time, and it can cut into relationships. I am lucky enough to have a partner that understands how vital writing is to my happiness.
So what do I do when confronted with the feeling of failure, the feeling that I haven’t sacrificed enough? I refocus on my goals. I look at what I have accomplished, and it’s a lot! I’ve managed to re-establish a writing practice and I’ve written nearly every day for the last 5 weeks. Before that, around NaNoWriMo, I had a 13 week streak!
Sometimes you have to step back and not focus on the product, but the process. Are you being consistent? Are you giving enough of yourself to writing? Are you making it a priority in your life? As long as you’re writing something, even once a week, and you’re writing something, it’s not a failure.
You’re doing what you were meant to do, even if it’s not as often as you’d like. You’re writing. You’ve acknowledged that you are, in fact, a writer! There are always setbacks, busy days, and sunny weather to lure us away from our keyboards and pens. And that’s okay.