It’s been nearly a month since I’ve posted here. At the start of the year, I said that I was going to experiment with posting longer posts, but less often. Well, I’m getting the less often part right.
I’ve been writing and blogging for many years. I started writing songs and poetry as a kid. Later, I started writing stories, then novels. Then I started blogs to share my work. After that I signed up for a half dozen social media accounts to get my writing seen by more people. It’s endless, and somewhat fruitless.
I’ve written songs, poetry, stories, ebooks, and articles. I’ve written about business, forgiveness, leadership, writing, creativity, minimalism, and more. Quite frankly, I think I’ve written too much fluff and not enough quality. Why? Because like most writers, I’ve fallen for the trap.
The Modern Writing Trap
What’s the trap? It’s simple. The trap is the idea that we have to continually produce in order to be great writers. We’re told we have to share content on a regular basis in order to be discovered, liked, and read. Today, I’m calling bullshit on that mentality.
Yes, it’s important to practice our art. But this idea that we have to produce regular articles, ebooks, and stories is a fallacy. Great writers work in many different ways. And if we let our writing choke out life experience, we’ll have nothing left to write about. In order to write quality content, we have to live life. The modern mentality of what it means to be a writer would have you forget that.
Why I’m Going to Stop Pushing
So I don’t care if I’m currently writing less. I’m tired of pushing in order to create mediocre crap. I don’t want to simply pound out articles. I want my writing to ebb and flow with the creative energy that I’ve been blessed with. And guess what? That energy is NOT continuous.
I discovered this truth years ago as a songwriter. Songwriting often comes in waves. In the past, I’ve had years where I’ve written upward of 50 songs. I’ve also had years where I haven’t written a single song. I used to hate those non-productive years. But I’ve learned that it’s during those times that my creative energy is being renewed. And I discovered that my next batch of songs would be of a higher quality.
The same goes for all writing. I could push out an article a day if I wanted. But for what purpose? To prove myself to my audience, and to myself? And what would I write about? Chances are high that I would simply repeat myself over and over. So instead of pushing, I’ve resolved to never give up.
Never, Never, Never Give Up
Honestly, I didn’t feel like writing this post today. I wasn’t inspired. I didn’t have a creative flash. The article is however, representative of how I really feel. I think that has to count for something.
Over at my other blog, www.hipdiggs.com, about minimalism, I write articles months in advance. My goal has been to build an audience and offer helpful information about simple living. It’s a blog that’s more practical and less creative. But even that can feel played out after awhile.
There are days that I want to quit blogging. It feels like I’ve simply roped myself into busywork that takes over my social and family life. What for? To become famous? To make money? Or to spread ideas that thousands of others are already spreading? It often feels pointless.
And What If I Really Did Quit Blogging?
Would that make me less of a writer?
I’m not saying I’m going to stop blogging. But if I did, it wouldn’t mean that I’m giving up as a writer. It would simply mean that I decided to stop following the popular misconception of what it means to be a creative writer.
True creativity comes in its own time, it’s not forced through daily, weekly, or even monthly blog posts. It ebbs and flows. That’s the way it worked before I ever started a blog. Hell, that’s what I did before the Internet. I wrote when I was inspired. That is how many great writers work.
So if you’re a writer, stop pushing yourself to constantly produce. Productivity is overrated. If I produce 100,000 words a month of repetitive ideas, have I really accomplished anything other than putting words on pages while ignoring my life and family? That’s a good question, and one that I struggle with regularly.
I’m going back to my roots. I’m going to write for the love of writing. I promise to myself to stop pushing myself to produce more. I’m going to write when I feel inspired, when I have something important to say, or when I’m overflowing with creative ideas. But I’ll never, never, never give up.
I encourage you: Don’t give up. But don’t force yourself to write filler and fluff, either.
Here’s a little writing inspiration from writer, Anne Lamott.