When you sit down down to write, knowing where to start can be the biggest hurdle. Sitting at my dining table wearing my writing hat, am I really worthy of the cap? That’s pretty much how I feel, when with notepad and pen in hand, I attempt to write something coherent and, let’s be honest, something absolutely bloody fantastic! I have my writing hat on, but the prizewinning story just isn’t happening. How can that be? The tendency to give up actually happens quite quickly for me because writing doesn’t happen so easily. It takes a lot of throwing ideas down on paper, scribbling out, numerous edits, leaving unattended when I get irritated with it and making up, when the words flow from my head down onto the page. Days can go by where I don’t write at all. Then the guilt sets in and the belief in my writerly abilities flies out of the window. If I don’t ‘write every day’, how can I be a writer?
In the last few weeks, I have posted my university assignments on the blog and it’s been lovely receiving ‘likes’ and new followers. Even though the assignments are obviously academic, they were still painstakingly written, pored over, researched, edited and so on. Isn’t that the same then? As I write predominantly fiction in my spare time, it all adds up to the same, whether it’s tweets, assignments, blog posts or short stories. I’m already doing this writing job every day; it’s the belief that needs to be there too, ingrained in my brain like anything else. If I didn’t feel the need to write, this belief would be redundant. So why is it so hard to embrace?
I’m sure there are many of you out there that ask yourselves these questions all the time. The mantra, ‘if you want to be a writer, you must write everyday’, quite frankly just sets you up for failure straight away. There are always going to be some days when writing doesn’t happen but if you’re anything like me, it never quite leaves my head, no matter how busy I am; whether it’s thinking about a current WIP, a new blog post or a rewrite of a particular scene.
Whether you’re putting pen to paper, fingers to keyboard or tweets to Twitter, the more support we can give to each other, through ‘likes’, comments and retweets, helps to cement our belief that we are writers. The cap fits all sizes so whether it’s the odd tweet now and again or knocking out stories or articles every week, believe in yourself. You are doing it. I am doing it.