Let’s all take a minute to sit in a circle, hold hands, and admit to being too hard on ourselves. Yes we are writers, yes we have goals, yes not meeting those small goals hinders us from meeting the big goals, but that does NOT mean we get to cut down and punish ourselves when we slip up.
I’m guilty of it. The exasperated-frustrated sigh-groan of doom. The eye rolls. The shoving away from the desk in annoyance. The vow to not watch that TV show unless the writing gets done, which then turns into a vow against dinner, against bed, against smiling, laughing, joy.
Get OVER it!
So I didn’t write today; Big Deal! That does not mean that I should have to make myself miserable until I get it done. You know what that accomplishes? Making me miserable. You know what doesn’t help in writing? Being miserable. Getting down on yourself is one of the quickest ways to dry up any creativity that may have been lurking around in that brain of yours that just didn’t fit into the time frame you’d set aside for writing.
Yes, being consistent with your writing schedule makes it easier to get into the mood for writing and eases the flow of creativity, but that’s a process that happens over time. In the same way you don’t just put a two year old on a toilet and pronounce them potty-trained, your muse, fickle beauty that it is, is not going to be coaxed (or threatened) into showing up exactly when you want it. She (or he, or it, I don’t know, it could be a three-eyed rabbit or something) is a free spirit, and must be treated as such. Getting frustrated because it doesn’t show up when you want it to will only make it more difficult for you to entice her closer overall.
So how do you get more writing done and not get down on yourself?
Forgive yourself. Understand that just because you didn’t write at 3pm Saturday afternoon doesn’t mean that you won’t make it up at 6am Sunday morning. Provide a comfortable, pleasant environment for your muse to play in and you won’t have time to complain about not writing because you’ll never stop. Make your writing space comfortable yet conducive to productivity, and then give your muse free reign, or at least the illusion of it. Make it so that even if you don’t have access to your writing space, you don’t stifle your muse. Have access to pen and paper (or pencils, I don’t know, maybe you like to write in elf blood, whatever), or a writing app on at least one of the fifteen devices you have, and when the muse hits, let it flow.
You’ll not only get more writing done, but feel better, and become closer to your muse.
Speaking of which, what does your muse look like? They contribute so much to our lives, we should at least acknowledge their appearance.
Ferdinand is a large, fuzzy dragon with purple scales and patches of orange fur sprouting all over. He also thinks he’s a cat.