Love the process

This is a blog post from my old website, but it felt relevant today, so here it is:

I've been so unproductive these last few weeks, and wondered why. Every day I want to do stuff, but just end up procrastinating all day and not getting any revising of my novel done. And I end up hating on myself for it and wondering what the heck is wrong with me.

Before summer I was so productive and did everything on my daily to-do lists, but now I struggle with rewriting a single paragraph.

But I just figured out what my problem is: I take this thing too seriously.

I make goals, and when I end up doing other things instead and not reaching them, I tell myself how I'll never be published if I don't get this done fast. But really, what is the hurry?

I have my entire life ahead of me. I'm on summer break and can enjoy the sunshine and rain. I should be loving every second of my life, especially writing. I can't keep pressuring myself to the point that I don't like writing anymore. That's stupid.

When I was younger my goal wasn't to actually become an author. My dream was to be a singer. Writing and drawing were just hobbies--something I did when I didn't feel like singing or doing anything else. I could wake up on summer mornings and scribble down twenty pages of ideas just because i didn't have to.

It was a choice, not a duty, and I loved it. If I didn't, I just wouldn't have done it. Writing was play, not anything serious.

I feel like I need to go back to that mindset a little. Of course, now that I'm older and have decided that writing is the thing I want to pursue as a career, there are things in the process that I'll force myself to do even if I don't like them that much. But I'm going to love the overall process. I'm going to learn how to enjoy writing as much as I did when it wasn't serious.

The words I write don't always make sense. They often suck and sound like utter nonsense. But that's the reason I revise. Nobody's story is perfect the first time of telling it. It takes practice and hard work to make it the best it can be.

Life doesn't always make sense either. In writing, we strive for realism in characters and world, but it can make us forget how the real world works. In books, accidents don't often happen. Randomness is rare, because if the hero just accidentally solves the problem and wins the final battle, it's a really bad story.

Real life is weird and random and full of accidents. It doesn't make sense. It's often chaotic. And it's OK. We don't need to control everything. In our books maybe, but not in real life. So much joy can come from being able to let things go and just live life without overthinking it and pressuring ourselves constantly.

Calm down and let life be what it is. Allow yourself to be imperfect and enjoy every second. We should strive to become better, but we often take it way overboard and it's destroying us, our dreams and our creativity.

Sometimes we just need the freedom to not have a deadline--to forget the goal and write in the here and now. So today I'll write if I feel like it, revise if I want to and not take this writing thing so seriously. I want to write, but what's even more important to me is loving the process and having fun :)

Focus on the process and love every step, and don't get lost in the goal--or you're never going to get there.

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