How to Get over the Guilt of Not Writing

Today, I've been thinking about writing.

Probably because I've spent most of the day reflecting on 2015 and remembering that this time last year, I was in the middle of writing-euphoria with Secrets Don't Keep. I didn't finish the book until late January, but December held the bulk of my writing — late nights, early mornings, fingers wrestling with the keys because the words were coming faster than I could type.

I miss that alchemy of words-on-page.

Maybe you feel the same? I've spoken to more than a few people recently who miss the feeling writing gives them. The catalyst is different: a new job, a new schedule, fear of success or fear of failure — it doesn't really matter. Once you stop writing, it's almost impossible to begin again.

At least, it feels impossible.

I think it's easy for the Guilt of Not Writing to take over every single creative outlet you experience. For me, if I'm not writing, at least I can be art journaling or painting or reading — filling the well, so to speak. But even then, it's not enough. The thought of yeah, but I should be writing....colors every single thing you do until one day you just chuck the whole thing out and say forget it. It's too hard. I can't do it. 

If there's one thing I've learned in writing, it's this: all it takes to experience the effervescence of creating something out of nothing is to pick up the pen and begin. 

But it's too hard, you repeat.

You're right. It is hard. If it were easy, more people would have finished their books by now. But listen: it's only hard because you haven't started. I call it alchemy for a reason — once I begin, once I set intention on spilling words every single day, once I say no to the things I know will take away from my creativity, the story flows.

Wasting time is easy. 
Doing what we love, what we're built for, is what takes work. 

All you have to do is say yes.

Posted on December 30, 2015 and filed under Building Your Craft.