How to LOVE Writing

"I don't love to write, but I love having written," is a quote that I could relate a lot to in the past. So what has changed? Why do I feel so completely differently about the "struggle and torture of writing" that I used to complain a lot about before?

Most people want to have done what they want to do, they don't actually want to do what they want to do.

That was a confusing sentence.

But the gist of it is that it's human nature to avoid uncomfortable and difficult things. And since writing requires more mental effort than thinking about writing, cleaning your home, or watching youtube or whatever else you do when you should be writing, it's just good sense (your brain thinks) to avoid that unnecessary discomfort.

So you associate writing with shame and guilt, further adding to that snowball of procrastination and shame and guilt. You get burnt out and you're unhappy. You feel guilty because you're never doing enough to get the progress you want. Every moment you're not writing makes you wonder if you actually even enjoy writing in the first place, or if it's really your calling, or if you should just quit. You think that because you're wasting your writing time procrastinating, you're wasting your potential.

If it's this hard to write, and if there are this many bad feelings and thoughts associated with it, then it can't be your thing, right?

Nope, you're just human.

And there is something you can do to stop procrastinating, and start to LOVE writing, not just having written.

But it's not the common piece of advice: "Just sit and write."

Even though it is that simple, it's rarely that easy.

Grab a pen and paper and do these 3 exercises:

  1. Identify why you want to write, then rewrite it to focus on what writing can do for you in the PRESENT moment, not some day in the future.
  1. Identify the underlying issue for why writing is so hard for you. It might be that you're not actually enjoying the project you're writing, or maybe you're scared of failing, of looking stupid, of being misunderstood or disliked. Reframe it to focus on yourself and things you can control, not on impressing others or making a mark on the world. How could you make your writing project more FUN for you, instead of hard?
  1. Identify if there might be something in the where, when and how you write that's creating hurdles for you. You might just not enjoy typing on a laptop. Maybe you're not writing regularly enough so you forget story details and get frustrated by that. Maybe you're a morning writer, not an evening writer. Maybe you feel rushed because you've set yourself deadlines that are too difficult. Maybe your surroundings are uninspiring. Try to make writing a regular ROUTINE, and do your best to prioritise it and keep it almost sacred. Write with feather quills that make writing feel like magic, put on some angsty music you love, or light a specific scented candle every time you sit down to work on anything related to your story. Writing is important to you. You love writing. Treat it as a treat. Reward yourself for your wins. But also remember: writing itself is the best reward.

Thinking about these things can help you change your mindset around writing. Having a mindset focused on how lovely writing is instead of what a burden and chore it is does wonders for your likeliness to actually sit down and get words down. 

You can try to change your mindset first, and then get writing. But I've found that it's more effective to do both at the same time, and know that for me personally, when I am regularly writing, I feel much happier to write, and also have a much more healthy mindset around writing.

Teach yourself to enjoy the process and reframe it in your mind so you focus on writing, and then having written is just a byproduct.

The tips or exercises above are meant to not only get you to reframe writing in your mind, but most importantly make you excited to write.

At the end of the day, if you really want to be writing, you'll be writing. 

Yes, most people love the feeling of having done the hard thing over actually doing the hard thing. It's normal.

But being more present, focusing on the fun, and having a regular writing schedule will make it much easier to write, and enjoy writing for writing's sake. You deserve that. 

Hope this was helpful. What are some things you love about writing?

/ Em


I'm currently writing my new work in progress with one of those old-timey pens you have to dip in ink and write on fancy high quality paper with so the ink doesn't bleed through, and it has been so wonderful for my story. 

I'll likely write a whole separate blog post about it, but for now I'm just going to say that slowing down and being forced to stop and think while the ink dries has been so good for me and just made me love my story more. 

I don't need to rush. I can just sit and calmly write my story with slow, careful strokes. If you're someone who rushes a lot and gets super impatient with yourself when you can't work fast enough, I really recommend trying a dip pen instead of typing.


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