When I Think About Writing
Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works. (Virginia Woolf)
Since launching Happy Living and starting to post again here, I have been thinking a lot about writing. I think about what inspires me and how to maintain my motivation. I think about what habits or routines I can establish that will help me get ahead of my blogging schedule. I also think about all the things that distract me from writing — from social media and email, to wedding planning and chores.
Writing sometimes feels like jumping off a cliff. I have to take the leap and start writing before I know for sure there are words inside me. I often stare at the empty screen and worry, "What do I want to write about? Will I be able to pull sentences together? What happens if I just can't do it?"
I have committed to posting every Wednesday and Friday on the Happy Living blog, yet I often leave my writing to the last minute. As if the adrenaline will somehow force a post to appear on screen. Sometimes this tactic works, but it also makes for an unpleasant evening. Each time I do it I promise myself to get started earlier next time.
So, I've been thinking about writing a lot lately. Where do the words come from? Do I have something new to offer readers? Is my viewpoint unique or valuable? How can I put my thoughts together so someone else might enjoy, or maybe benefit from reading them?
Instead of waiting for inspiration, I try to force writing. “Just type,” I tell myself, "the formatting and sentences will follow." When I quiet my worried, fearful thoughts, the posts come together. And even when the writing doesn't turn into a full-fledged blog post, there are often elements I can use later.
Writing is a creative pursuit, and creating something out of nothing is scary. The thing I've learned most from writing (and not writing) is that starting is the battleground. So... here I am, learning, writing, and sharing along the way.
Image via Death to the Stock Photo