One of the most often heard advice for writers is: – write whether you feel like it or not. Free style writing – is not free at all. I cannot seem to force myself to write anything.
I used to seriously worry about that and pondered over my ability to ever be a good/true writer. I just can’t write something down when my mind is blank. That rule is my procrastination. I go watch TV, read a book or even play a computer game. I find excuses – I need to clean the house, I need to visit my grandchildren and the list of excuses could probably get me writing the list down at least. If I go to the computer – my mind is again blank.
Over the years I noticed that often watching TV, taking a walk, watching my grandchildren or reading a book was much better inspiration than forcing myself to write – I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know... a thousand times. That was after seeing the advice that not only should I write every day – but some actually force myself to a word count. Oh horrors.
I have been out of school for so many years – what’s next? Someone is going to write an article – or advice saying what the topic should be just like writing essays in school. Write a thousand words on how good sharks really are – what? I don’t think sharks are good at all. They eat people. It’s a proven fact – whether they are hungry or not – who cares? If you’re eaten does it really matter that the shark was just hungry?
Then there are those who cry about a messy or even dirty house and they are always assured it’s quite alright – all writers are apt to ignore housework in favor of writing, because possibly they are that inspired it is right to ignore the dirt? Again I wonder about my abilities to write. I must sit down to a clean desk and a clean house. My inspiration and creativity is lost if I’m sitting in a mess. I watch the dust bunnies float around – I smell the fact I haven’t changed the litter-box and the inspiration I feel – just isn’t there. I guess my writing is just a hobby. I just can’t do it.
I am a morning person – I am apt to dose and yawn if I’m up too late. It’s not an age thing – I’ve been doing it since I was a child. So I bounce out of bed and greet the morning with a smile, all ambitious and eager to do whatever inspires me. It could be writing, it could be taking a walk, it could be – God forbid, I might clean my house, sparkling clean.
Then I read many writers can write in the darkness and silence of night. This could especially apply to mothers of little children. I have children and they were little too at one time. But I can’t because I’m too tired. It’s becoming so obvious I’m not a writer. I just don’t do anything the way I’m ‘supposed’ to.
Then I wake up one morning (during the height of my creativity) I realize there are no rules – just write what you want. There are rules publishing companies impose – there are rules some (never all because they are individuals too) readers might impose – but there are no rules for the writer himself if he wants to write. Just write if you feel the urge – it doesn’t matter where or when.
I have seen using the rule – write when you want, write what you want – has created four published books for me. Not once did I stay up in the middle of the night, sit in a dirty house or force myself to write when I wasn’t inspired.
The rules people apply to writers – are not ‘written in stone’. It’s a relief to know that for now I can write and not worry about whether I’m a writer or not. I am!