Monday, July 18, 2011

Pushing Through It.

I love writing. I've considered myself a writer since elementary school, and it hasn't been until I've gotten older and started writing professionally that I've realized what that really means. I love writing, but it's more than a hobby. It's a job, and a sometimes I hate my job. It happens to everyone. Writing and other creative jobs have this problem: you'll be trying to create and you can't get anything out on paper or on the keyboard. No matter what you try, whether you changed environment, grabbed a cup of coffee, read other people's articles; nothing works. It's like pulling teeth to get a single word out. Then the phrase 'putting your nose to the grindstone' comes to mind and it is the perfect phrase.

I have days I don't want to write anything substantive. I only want to write fluff or fan-fiction; fun writing that won't do any good, that won't pay any money. Some days I let the impulse take over, but after about an hour, I turn my attention back to what I need to do. And I write. I write even though I don't know what I'm writing, or I'm not an expert in the topic, or even if I feel like I'm writing pure and utter garbage.

That's what editing is for. If you have the luxury of a day or two extra, write the article, even if you think it sounds absolutely ridiculous and even if you know it's going to be full of mistakes. Put it aside for a day, maybe two, and come back to it. Read it over as if it isn't your own and see what needs editing. Then fix it.

You may have to do this a few times before the article or blog post comes out how you intend for it, but after a while you'll get used to pushing through it. You'll find that it comes more easily the next time you get that feeling. You'll be able to push through even though you may hate yourself.

It took me awhile to learn this, and I still have a hard time practicing it when it comes to fiction writing, as inspiration is far more vital to fiction writing than it is to nonfiction writing. I still force myself to pump out writing that I may not be proud of, putting it off to the side until I can edit it and make it into something I'm proud of.

Because I am a writer, and despite that I may hate it some days, writing is my job, and like any job, you do it even when you're not feeling it.

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