Watching friends succeed at something they’ve worked so hard for is an amazing thing. Failing at what you do best, as your friends succeed, is difficult. This is how I felt this month as I watched two of my best friends achieve a success they so richly deserved. I felt very much a part of both successes, since I was there for their beginnings, but a part of me couldn’t help wondering: these two extraordinary women are accomplishing greatness, so why can’t I just get a fucking 120 page thesis done?
I had been writing since I was five years old; it was all I knew, all I loved, and all I was even remotely good at. So why then was it so difficult editing my completed stories and fleshing out the thesis with a few new ones? I certainly had the desire to write, and the eagerness to finish. So why weren’t the words coming out? This was unexplainable because I had always been praised for my prolific nature.
I was told countless times to just sit at the computer and write. It was so much more difficult than it sounded. I didn’t seem to have the motivation anymore; it was as if a demon resided inside me and was holding the words captive. I felt that perhaps my thesis was restricting me, instead of helping move my writing along. But I wanted to get it done, I needed to get it done, so that was the only thing on my mind – finishing what I started and not writing anything else so I wouldn’t get distracted. Big mistake.
Restricting my writing did more harm than good, because it made me stop writing altogether. Since I was forcing myself to write only what I needed to, I didn’t let myself write what I wanted to. As my deadline for the thesis approaches, I know I can’t make any more excuses. The thesis needs to get done, and I don’t want it to be some half-assed attempt. I want it to be good. I want it to have a publishable quality. I want it to be the best that it could be.
With this blog, I’m finally excited about writing again, so my advice to you is the same one I’ve been given: to “just sit at the computer and write.” Don’t restrict your writing as I did. Write anything: a word, a number, a phrase, a letter. Start writing and you’ll be amazed at what comes out. I realize my mistake now; it was restricting my creativity and forcing out stories that weren’t ready to come out. As long as the mind works, the creative juices will flow, and hopefully the story will come out when it’s ready. Until then, don’t force something that’s not ready, but just write. Write for yourself and magic will happen. Then, that story you need to write will finally emerge.
Be the writer you want to be, and write on!
The Accidental Blogger