Sometimes writing is an absolute joy, but at other times, it’s incredibly stressful. Seen as we’re currently in the midst of NaNoWriMo I’m going to wager that a lot of writers are currently feeling the latter…I know I am!
I’d been keeping up with NaNo pretty well until yesterday when I had one of those days where I just really, really didn’t want to write. This happens occasionally, and shouldn’t be a big deal, but I’m already stressing about being behind, which is sapping my will to write even more.
So I thought I’d do a little post reminding myself what I love so much about writing, and I can’t recommend this enough if you’re also struggling right now. There’s nothing like thinking about what you love about writing to get you back in the zone!
So here are all the things I love about writing:
- Getting to create my own worlds and walk in someone else’s shoes.
Sometimes it’s nice to get a break from the real world, and even from your own head. I’ve always loved the escapism of reading, but writing takes it to the next level, where not only do you get to go to another world and be another person, but you get to invent it all!
- It’s an excuse to daydream!
I’ve always been a terrible daydreamer: a major part of being an introvert is that I’m happiest in my own head, and so I’ve always liked making up my own stories and own worlds. As a child I always lagged behind on family walks, thinking about all the mythical creatures that might inhabit a forest like the one we were walking through, or imaging what it would be like to have magical powers…
Writing is basically an acceptable way to daydream as an adult: you’re just thinking about your plot and characters when you’re off on an epic quest in your own head!
- It’s a means of expression.
Again, because I’m an introvert, I’m not the best at expressing myself out loud…in fact I’m pretty socially awkward on the whole! I’m much, much better at getting my thoughts and feeling across through writing, where I have time to think about what I want to say.
In fact, that’s one of the things I love so much about this blog: I get to express my thoughts and feelings in a way that’s comfortable to me. Writing comes straight from our minds and onto the paper (or the computer screen), so in a lot of ways I think you can find a truer version of yourself on the page.
- It’s therapeutic.
For me, writing is a great creative outlet for all my thoughts and feelings, whether positive or negative. Had a bad day at work? Don’t shout at your co workers, just go home and give your characters a really hard time! Upset about something? Go and write a really weepy poem about it and release all that sadness onto the page!
I think that’s why so many people write diaries. Yes, a lot of it is to record their lives, but I also think there’s something really healthy about working through your problems on the page, or at the very least getting out all the bad feelings.
- It’s something I have complete control over.
Now I’m not exactly a control freak, but it’s nice to have one thing in my life I have complete control over, and that’s my writing. Life can feel a bit out of hand sometimes, as there’s so many things that are outside our control, but in our own fictional worlds, we get to be fully in charge!
- I enjoy the craftsmanship.
So many people have hobbies that involve making things, because it’s enjoyable, and it’s nice to behold the final product at the end. I find writing to be very much like that, as you try to craft the perfect sentences, that are going to fit together to make a perfect whole. Are you ever actually going to get it perfect? Probably not, but the process is incredibly enjoyable (most of the time!), and the journey is half the fun!
- I love experiencing that feeling of timelessness when you’re in the flow!
As I’ve already said, writing can be hard and a struggle, but there’s also times when it seems easy, and you become completely absorbed in your work. This doesn’t happen very often for me, but when it does, it feels amazing!
I love the feeling you get of time no longer existing, and it being just you and the page, and you never want to stop!
- Being able to communicate with others.
Writing is for the most part a lonely activity, but the ultimate aim of most writing is eventually to be read by others, and that offers an amazing opportunity to really connect with people. There’s been so many books and blog posts I’ve read that have really resonated with me, and it’s a nice feeling to know that someone else has felt the way you do. I always hope to give people that feeling from my writing, and it’s nice to think of the words you put out into the world touching someone else life, even in the smallest way.
- It’s a challenge.
If everything was easy, the world would be an incredibly boring place. Writing is hard, and can be a challenge, and whilst this sometimes makes it frustrating, it’s also a good thing. The feeling of completing a piece of writing, or getting positive feedback on something is made all the more satisfying by the knowledge that you had to struggle to get to that point, and I love that!
So what do you love about writing? Even when you’re struggling with it, what makes it all worth it?