MASIDO

WHEN WRITING IS MORE THAN A HOBBY

June 4, 2014

Journal 3RD JUNE 2014

I have recently been on one of my writing lows. The kind I totally avoid writing and tell myself things like “writing is meant to be fun; if you don’t feel like doing it, just don’t!” That was until I recalled my plan at the beginning of this year- the whole reason why 52 shorts was conceived. I want to just write novels but I had yet (and have yet) to master the discipline for the novel I want to work on. I have to say so far, consistency is not one of my strongest traits.

There are days that I finish my stories just fine with no drama and I love that, but soon as I set myself a deadline or a target, I kind of veer off as though I have something against goals and targets. I hate being boxed- I think that’s it. I hate being boxed even by myself.

But what does that spell for I who seeks to be a professional writer? Should I teach myself to stick to deadlines? Should I box myself and try to hit those targets or should I just go with the flow? Problem with going with the flow is that writing is something I want to dive into for the long haul- I want to actually write lots of things and for that to happen successfully, I must discipline myself to the point that it becomes a part of me- something I do naturally- not something whose time slot comes and I go like “Writing? Now?!”

I think the trick is to bring in some fun into it. To be writer means to go out and to watch life with the “eye”- (call me illuminati and I’ll shoot you!) While I like to be lost in my head even in crowds, I actually do not mind watching life unfolding and finding stories from the things I see. I do like watching people and imagining things about them- so that could be fun. Watching people I don’t mind.

Also, I read somewhere that it helps to reward myself for goals accomplished e.g. if I complete say, two stories, I must do something special for myself at the end of the week.

So there! Things I need to learn:

1-      How to make writing fun and consistent

2-      How to say no to myself.

I think writing for me now is like professional dancing or competition swimming. Where once it was a hobby- that thing I did only when I felt like- it has now become so serious a thing to me I must be more- do more. Thing is, when something starts to get serious, there is always more you need to give and it’s no longer just a hobby- unless you want it to remain just a hobby- which I don’t. I have enough hobbies and writing is no longer one of them.

I care a lot about writing and much as I think it should be all fun, I know commitment is not easy in the beginning. I need to get through these first difficult stages of writing even when I don’t feel like. I need to write even when it’s not fun. I need to tell myself that like a dancer, there are times the feet hurt and the body tires, but I must push on because it is as important as breathing- you don’t just stop because your lungs stung. You breathe on until the sting goes away.

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