Mini Musings–Why Can’t I Write for Myself?

Life is good.  I love life. I love spending time with my kiddo and time with my hubby and time, well, just being.  But then other life things start getting in the way and I find myself wanting to jump the next around the world cruise so that I can just find some space to breathe again.

As I am sure many other people my age have gone through, I am finding myself wanting to just do the fun and soul-filling things I like instead of putting so much effort into things that just let me be.  My job as a children’s librarian has been very filling and there is not a week that goes by that I don’t feel that I am doing good for a younger person but it isn’t something that fills my soul.  I could leave it tomorrow and not be terribly sad about it in a month.  I would hate not being in the middle of things, but I would get over it.  It’s a relief to know that, actually. (Cue to the part where I get REALLY self-absorbed…)

But then I wonder what life would be like if I didn’t have my job to go to every day.  Would I sit down and finish the book that I am just on the edge of completing?  Would I ever just make the leap to find that editor, spend that money, or put myself out into the big bad world?  I dream about it all of the time.  I spend every other minute I am not with my family looking at books on the shelves of my library.  Books that were written by people that were not afraid. And not lazy.  They did the steps they needed to to to make their goal happen.  I can’t seem to make mine stick.

I write all of the time.  It used to be on my blog but now it’s for someone else.  For a pop culture website that is currently growing in popularity. I joined it because it seemed like a hoot.  It’s something that requires me to put out five articles a week.  But I like it.  I have fun with it. I’ve learned a lot.  The sucky thing is that it’s keeping me from finishing my own project and it’s starting to make me not like myself very much.  I know I have the capacity to do both, but why am I putting them before me?

It’s not easy for me to keep schedules (they are entirely too easy for me to ignore) and I don’t like the pressure of having a deadline hanging over my head.  Or, at least I think I don’t.  The hell of it is that I do my best work when I am under pressure.  I purposely leave things to the last second so that I am forced to focus and GET SHIT DONE!  It’s a strategy that has done me well in the past, but right now I just can’t make it happen for myself.

The plan was that I would have something self published by March.  Well that ship has obviously sailed.  I told myself it had to be done but then I turned around and told myself to piss off.  I’m not going to die if I don’t have something written this week.  I’m not going to die if I enjoy a Sunday instead of making sure I have something to go live on Monday.  I purposely give myself a middle finger salute and do the fun stuff.  But isn’t writing supposed to be my fun stuff?

I am getting more out of writing on WordPress for the last nine months than I ever thought possible. I am discovering that I have a voice and that there are a few people that want to hear it.  But my will to tell my stories is dwindling and I’m terrified that I will just let my dream of writing turn into dust. How can I refocus? How can I get my mojo back?  Can anyone tell  me how I can start writing for myself again?

(Do you see how I found time to write a 600 word rant about not being able to write–but not an actual story?)

I’ll take anything you got.

© DRB 2016

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10 Comments

  1. I like your 15-minutes-a-day plan. Although I enjoy it, it’s kind of like exercise for me – once I get STARTED, I don’t hate every second of it…and I’m always glad I did it. 🙂 (Unfortunately it does not have the best weight loss effects.)

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  2. Maybe you should write a book of how to write a book so you could rant more and finish the book simultaneously, no?

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  3. Love ya Ne’. just keep on bloggin’. Gotta do the fun stuff along with the serious stuff.

    SKP

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hiya! I am trying to hang in there the best I can. So good to hear from you.

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  4. flowersfallinitaly

    I don’t write for fun but I love to do technical writing….not sure I’ll be much help! What I believe is that writing is one of those things that will come and go. Some days you will have inspiration and some days you won’t. I think personal experiences help the most in creative writing. The way I see it you have plenty of life left to contnue on the book and let it flow versus feeling like it needs to be done my a certain date. What if you try to get it done early and it’s not what you want it to be? I say don’t feel pressure if you miss your original goals and just be sure that if you are off track then set a new one that seems more reasonable to include other things you want to do!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your words. I do put a lot of pressure on myself and it has been nice to kind of let the writing ebb and flow. I just have a history of letting things go and not getting back to them. This is truly one of the most important life goals I have, so I am going to take baby steps to get myself back on track. Starting with 15 minutes of dedicated writing tonight. No matter what! Thank you so much for commenting. I really appreciate it.

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  5. When I started my translating / editing business, I pretty much stopped doing my own writing. And when I started doing a different kind of work (less writing-related), I found I had more inclination to write for myself again. I think when writing is part of my actual job or volunteer commitments, I begin to think of it as an obligation rather than a pleasure. Or maybe I only have so many words available to me per week, haha! Good luck getting your writing mojo back.

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  6. Hello, fellow writer! Yes, it’s true, you do have a wonderful writing voice. What kinds of stories do you like to write? Like you, I am a working mom who dreams a career as a novelist, and I can relate to your frustration. You want to be a writer but you don’t feel as if you’re doing what it takes to get there. If you truly want to publish books, then it’s critical to make a writing schedule or, at the very least, set specific goals: 1000 words, a chapter, a short story, 30 minutes in front of a computer or notebook–whatever works for you. Then reward yourself. Some purists are content with writing being its own reward, but I’m not one of them. I enjoy physically rewarding myself for reaching writing goals; stickers work. For bigger benchmarks like every 10,000 words, maybe you can buy yourself bookmark or a new pair of shoes or whatever you’re into. Hope this helps.

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    1. Thank you for giving me some ideas on how to get myself back on track. I have never tried a reward system before and I think it might be something that would really be encouraging to get me to write more. I am going to start tonight with a dedicated 15 minute time period to put SOMETHING down in writing–no matter what. Thank you so much for the advice!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good luck. I’m sure you’ll do great things no matter what.

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