Feb 15, 2011

Taking a step back

I hate that my blog has become all about writing. I started this five years ago as a way to log the rather boring details of my life - not for anyone other than myself. I was a journal-keeper. I have stacks upon stacks of notebooks logging the boring details of my life going all the way back to my first years as a teenager. Life got busy and the writing slowed and then eventually stopped. Blogging was a way for me to get back into that habit of writing and tracking all that was going on in my life (even if it was interesting to no one but me).

I wrote about my family, my hobbies, my travels, and my passions. Along the way, I rediscovered my love of writing fiction.While I mentioned it frequently, I never did anything about it. By chance, I met someone who also loved writing. She might have loved it more than me. Or perhaps she expressed it more than me because the love was there, but over the years I just pushed it down. It was just another unrealistic dream.

But here's the thing. It's not unrealistic. I always say, If you don't go in, you can't find out. So a couple of years ago I decided to go in so I could find out. I completed NaNoWriMo in 2009 and subsequently completed my first novel. I'm working on completing Novel #2. I began reading published author/writer blogs and trying to soak up as much knowledge as I could from those with more experience. I've never admitted it, but all that did was make me aware of exactly how much more I needed to learn. I felt defeated and insecure. Not ready to throw in the towel (because you can't get rid of me that easily), but definitely discouraged. Definitely feeling left behind.

Until I read this post by author Jody Hedlund. A light went on! She goes on to say:

"But newer writers today have the pulse of the writing industry at their fingertips. And while there are an incredible number of benefits to being intimately connected to the industry, young writers may also be feeling undue pressure to do too much too quickly. And once under the pressure, they may soon find the love and joy of writing zapped from them.

I think newer writers, those close to the beginning of their writing journeys, need to take the pressure off themselves. And they need to give their creativity and love of the writing process time to develop."
I feel as though I'm in a mad rush to win a marathon. I need to slow down. I need to pace myself. I need to reignite that passion for writing that I've lost along the way. So I am taking a step back - no more reading so many writer blogs, no more trying to keep up with others, no more unnecessary pressure on myself. I just need to get back to the basics. Just write.

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