Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pushing Through

We all want to present our best writing to our readers.  If you're anything like me, you spend hours editing and polishing your stuff so that the best possible product reaches your audience.  Even then, you're sure you could've made it just a little bit better if you'd gone back one more time.

Unfortunately, we sometimes use that as an excuse to not write.  We're too tired or too busy, and we know we won't produce our best stuff, so we slack off.  Sure, we assuage our guilt with empty platitudes about how we want to give it our best, but, deep down, we know the truth - it's just not important enough to us to get past our exhaustion.

Writing is like going to the gym - each day you don't write, it gets easier to find another excuse the next day to not write.  If you want to have any chance to get better, you have to write...even when you don't fee like it.

Yes, writing in these circumstances will often mean that you produce crap.  That has to be okay.  Remember, just because you write something, that doesn't mean you have to publish it.  Just get in the habit of writing.  Put down a few random thoughts.  Work on your newest story, all while knowing what you write will require massive revision.  Who knows, you may even come up with a jewel in the debris of your exhaustion.

Show what you wrote to a friend who is used to reading your stuff.  I like to show my less than stellar work to a buddy who can usually intuit what I'm trying to say even when I don't get it right.  He points out where it comes up short and where it has just gone off the rails.  Then, when I'm more coherent, I polish it into something worthwhile.

But I can't get better if I stop writing because life gets in the way - life will do that enough on its own, and you giving it a helping hand will hurt you in the long run.  On the plus side, just like exercising when you're tired, writing when you're not at your best will make it so that you can eventually write better under those circumstances.  You'll figure out how to push through the cobwebs of your mind, and you'll start getting better.  That should, in turn, translate to being even better when you're at your best.

If you choose not to write when you just don't feel up to it, don't get upset when you have no success.  Remember, those who make it are the ones who put in the long hours after everyone else has decided to take a break.  By pushing through, your dedication will translate into a better story.

Or you can relax and gripe about why no one appreciates your work.  We know which path leads to better success.

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