Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Do You Treat Writing as a Chore?

Since I get out to a lot of events and happenings throughout the year and receive a lot of e-mail messages from writers as an editor for the Writer's Digest Writing Community, I'm able to hear a lot more about writer goals and needs than the average person. It can be really inspirational at times. Other times, I'm left scratching my head.

For instance, one thing I often hear from writers is that writing almost isn't worth it. When I listen to them, they make writing sound like something on par with washing the dishes, doing laundry, or cleaning the house. I don't know what to tell writers like these.

For me, writing is an excuse to avoid washing the dishes, doing laundry, or cleaning the house. Writing is something that I don't only consider not a chore, it's a privilege that I'm thankful to do every single day.

Do you treat writing as a chore?

If you do, maybe one of these is happening:
  • You've fallen into a rut with your writing. Maybe the act of writing has become too routine. You always do it in the same place or same time of day. If this is the case, shake things up by writing somewhere unique or in the evening instead of the morning.
  • You expect too much from your writing. Sometimes I think a lot of writers find themselves in this situation. You fell for writing, got married to the idea of writing, and then, started putting all  manner of demands on the writing: that it get published, that it make you lots of money, that it be read and respected by everyone. Listen: There's still time for that, but don't heap that kind of pressure on your writing. It's bad for the relationship.
  • You want your writing to be something it's not. Maybe your writing isn't Harry Potter or the Twilight series of books. Maybe your writing is technical or investigative journalism. Maybe it's not funny, but thought provoking instead. Don't try to force your writing to be something it's not. Ask your writing (or writing group) what its strengths are and then let your voice shine through by letting your writing be itself.
So again, do you treat writing as a chore? Or is it something that you absolutely adore? Is the relationship broken? Or can it be fixed? Let me know.


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Andrea (Andee) Beltran said...

Writing and chores...those two things don't equate. At least not in my world, thankfully.

When it comes to writing, I'm like a child waiting at the oven for the chocolate chip cookies to be removed so I can devour them. There is no greater pleasure. Well, reading is right up there too.

All best to you and your family this Thanksgiving, Robert! Thanks for all the inspiration and motivation this year...

Nicole Pyles said...

Definitely not a chore. More like a discipline, sometimes. But, even then, once I get started it's like I'm lost in a totally different world. You just have to get me there.

But not a chore. Why do it if it's a chore?

(Happy Thanksgiving!)

Anonymous said...

Not a chore for me! I couldnt survive without writing. Its something on my mind at all times; the next plot idea, the new characters, the FUN in creating a story that comes to life on the pages. LOVE IT!

Thanks for all your great posts, Robert!

Kari Thomas, www.authorkari.com