So… I’m writing a fiction novel – or novella to be precise (as I don’t want to make my goal too big for my first attempt).
But I’ll tell you a secret. I began this story last August, and the last time I wrote anything was – also last August. I haven’t touched the thing in forever.
Part of me is tempted to feel bad or guilty, but I’ve also learned to think differently about things (sometimes anyway), particularly when it comes to my interests, passions and projects.
I’ve learned that:
- I work best in creative, energetic bursts and when inspiration hits. I become absorbed and go into my own little world, forgetting about real life things that need attending to.
- I cycle between projects and interests.
- I always come back to the ones that matter.
And so I don’t feel as guilty as often. I don’t feel like a giver-upper as often. I can relax and release the doubt and worry more, and instead trust that in due course my inspiration and energy will return.
This is especially applicable when it comes to the creative projects I’m doing just for fun. Just for me. I suppose I still do feel guilt, pressure and anxiety around the things I actually have to do. But if I don’t have to do it then I don’t really want to put unneeded pressure on myself.
Except I’m going to kind of, just a teeny bit, put some gentle pressure on myself to finish this short novel. For fun. For me. Because it would be nice to finish something.
Who else has unfinished drafts lying around?
I’ve read some amazing articles from Lauren Sapala Who is an INFJ writer and writing coach for INFJ’s and INFP’s. I’ve found her take on how us INF writer’s flourish when we allow the character’s and the stories to come to us, in their own time. She suggests that we listen to character’s and we write their story, rather than using the character to our own needs and wants.
Lauren also talks about how linear and structured writing is perhaps not our strong suit, and that often the story comes in bits and pieces.
I really took on this new (new to me) way of approaching my writing. And it felt so right and so organic. When I felt an energetic burst of writing, I did it. And when that energy fizzled out, I parked the project.
But back to my gentle nudge to write more. And why now, after so many months.
Well I came across my computer file of my story last night in bed, on my phone (so naughty I know, and I normally don’t use my phone in bed). So I had a bit of a read of what I’d written (apparently also naughty, as I think you’re meant to not read any of it until you’re done. Or did I make that up? I’m not sure).
I had forgotten the different parts I’d written. Some of it terrible (but could absolutely be improved upon), other parts really moving, and made me empathise and invest myself in the characters.
I’d written much more than I thought. I was surprised. I’d put in quite a bit of time into this.
Looking back, yes, I remember. I remember I set my alarm an hour earlier than my family’s getting up time and I would gift the time to some writing. I showed up. And I had actually made some progress. It had paid off.
Now here I am, wanting to finish the story, but not quite inspired with ideas, and I definitely don’t feel a burst of inspired energy. Just yet.
I hope though, that I’ve planted a seed somewhere in my mind, and that my character is will make contact with me again so I can finish the story.