On writing

Hitting the Writing ‘Reset’

This storm in a cup has been brewing a long time. It’s time I hit ‘Reset’ on my writing life and enjoy a cup of decaf instead.

There comes a point in most writers’ lives when they feel self-doubt creeping in. As with most other things, this is a perfectly normal response to the act of creating. ‘What if I’m not good enough?’ or worse, ‘What if I’m like every other writer?’ are just a few examples of what has been ruminating in my mind in the last few months. We always want our ideas to be ‘fresh’, our dialogue to be ‘sharp’, and our descriptive passages to be immersive.

I thought I had a good system in place at the start of my second year. But a few kinks in my living situation put me right out of my routine, and once that happened, everything sort of unravelled before I could even react. Trying to implement the same routine became a chore, and I began to loathe it.

Writing and reading became unbearable chores for me.

I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. Going to seminars was the lowest point of my day, but so was going home and staring at the empty page. I tried to force myself to write something, anything.

Although I could see my systems failing, I still keep the same targets in mind. Looking back, I think it’s crazy what I’ve put myself through. And it’s left its mark on me.

Today I found my old stories, written prior to becoming a student. I was surprised to see how playful my writing was only two years ago. It’s true, it lacked structure and it was messy, but it had a beating heart.

My stories have no story now, only writing. They are as daft as grandma’s matching curtains and tablecloth.

So, what can I do to remedy this? How am I going to ‘Reset’ my writing?

To begin, I think a ‘writing ban’ is in order. I’ve gotten into the habit of associating writing with ‘work’, and that has proven very costly. A break from writing will hopefully break that bond and allow me to be jaunty again.

To follow, I’m going to tackle my reading habits. This, I think, is one of the rooting causes of my problems.

Lastly, finding a new system (or none at all). It’s clear now that as things change in our lives, the need to adapt our routines is more and more prominent.

Have you ever experienced the need to hit your writing ‘Reset’? Talk about it in the comments, I’d love to know about your experience!

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