I’ve had it with the pressure put on writing routines.
“Write five pages a day. (Every day. For the rest of your life.)”
“Real writers write every morning as soon as they wake up.”
“If you don’t write every day, you’re not taking your writing seriously.”
These messages are everywhere and this lady is not following along like they are commandments.
Guess what? Everyone is different. Every writing muse is different. Some muses respond to structure, to daily habits. My writing muse gives regularity the middle finger, with surprising regularity.
Forget about fiction, creative nonfiction or even journal writing for a moment. When I create a “habit” to write a blog post with any kind of regularity, my passion withers. No, it dies. There’s no fun in it for me anymore.
Apparently writing regularly is law when it comes to developing any kind of “following” on any social media outlet. You know what? I have to trust that my kindred spirits will not give a flying fish about how often I am posting (back me up here), but they will sniff out any content that isn’t filled with passion.
Passion for me starts from having something meaningful to say. Having a burning in my soul that needs to be released and shared in the world. For me, it doesn’t work to sit down and fish around for something to say. The muse comes in bursts. Wakes me up in the middle of the night because she needs to get her insides out. She sits me down at a computer (right now) on barely 5 hours sleep because she needs to talk.
It’s the same with fiction or any other kind of writing. For me. Maybe not for you. Maybe for you, the passion ignites FROM the structure of daily habits. And that, my friends, is the variety of which the tapestry of the world is created.
There are a million different ways to live a life and personality types abound. I am sure that the persons that advise about creating strict writing habits and goals have really different elements to their personality than I do. And that is ok. That just means that we all need to take each other’s advice with a grain of salt and trust our own intuition to know what’s right for us.
Now, if you DO have something to say and are avoiding writing that’s a different story, and a different post. I’ll nail that rant when the spirit moves me.
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Curious about personality tests? Me, too! I love taking the tests and feeling understood and not totally off-the-wall when I read my profile. And reading the other profiles and guessing the personality types of family, friends and colleagues. No, it’s not a fool-proof science. (What science is fool-proof?) But it is fun and useful. It really drives home the point that we all see the world through different lenses.
I like the Myers-Briggs personality model as interpreted by 16personalities.com. I’m an INFP or the “Mediator.” The image above is my INFP spirit. Isn’t she so Zen?