Thursday, February 25, 2016

Do I love writing?

It’s a question I keep asking myself because I can’t seem to get motivated for personal, extra-curricular writing, no matter how many times a day I try to get started. My new(ish) job requires that I write daily, and the topic isn’t one that I’m naturally enthusiastic about. Writing has started to feel more like a grind, where it used to feel like a message to the outside world and a chance to free the little squiggling ideas in my head. Based on the atmosphere of my blog (tumbleweeds and dry, desert winds) anyone with any sense think that the clear answer is no. Lately, I only write to please someone else. It can be so frustrating, because that means edits, rewrites, and in this scenario it often feels like I’m aiming at a moving target.

I hate missing the mark.

As a result I’ve been paying more attention to what it means to write with intention. I’m reading more content, both for work and about the topics I’m interested in, which pointed me toward a webinar where the presenter talked about his natural love for writing. His excitement started my mind racing. “Do I love writing? Do I even LIKE it?” Being that the daily grind has been just that, I suddenly worried I don’t have that basic, intrinsic drive.

I started thinking about the writing process, specifically MY writing process. How it doesn’t matter if someone else reads it because it’s about finding the perfect word and the feeling I get when I’ve completed my thoughts. It’s so satisfying! It makes me so proud! It’s tangible proof of my existence, and the things I care about. Reviewing a great piece I’ve created makes me happy. I’m pretty sure it’s the same feeling a parent has for their little baby that they just want to stare at, breathe in, and smooch all over. (I checked with my parent friends- they are in 100% agreement that writing is exactly like bearing a child and then raising it.)

But thank god for that webinar. (A rarer sentence has never been uttered.) It sparked me to move, and not just blindly forward toward a deadline and a selling point. It reminded me that letting those little weirdo ideas play, and then capturing them cleverly is one of the greatest joys I know. I decided I’m going to be more patient with myself, to mull over my ideas and nudge them forward. I’m going to write about what I know, and today what I know is that the answer is yes.

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