What phase of a writer’s life are you in? Is your story bursting out of you from your fingertips? Are you plugging along? Burnt out? Taking a break, relaxing in the “have written” phase, waiting for the motivation to revisit you?
Like many writers, my commitment to writing varies depending on not just the day, but the season in my life that I’m in at the time. In the same way I find myself drawn to checking Twitter or the price of bitcoin daily — no matter how busy things get — others will write something, anything, to scratch that itch the writing bug has given them. I’ve definitely been in that phase of my life! That was fun… I was so prolific when I was in that phase. I’m not there anymore, but maybe you are, and if you are, enjoy it! Hang on for dear life and let the stories flow.
If history repeats itself, then at some point I will be back in a write-good-words-everyday phase. It’s just not now. I could give excuses (try saying “twin toddlers toilet-training” 3 times fast), but I wrote my first published book in 2009 when my eldest son was an infant. The fact is, when you want to write, you write, and nothing will stop you. If something *is* stopping you, that doesn’t mean you’re no longer a writer, because, unlike most of the population, you *have written* — something many people only dream of doing, or wish to do at some point in the future.
I’ve always loved writing, but right now what I love is *having written* books. I love that there are books with my name on it that I’ve written, and that I can check that off the bucket list. But I still have this uneasy feeling whenever I’m not actively writing the next book, as if I’m wasting time. To be fair, sometimes I actually am wasting time. Ahem.
But I like to think if I’m not watching a movie, napping, or going on social media, then the time isn’t wasted, and maybe isn’t even meant to be spent writing. I tend towards writing in marathon spurts, going months without writing a word, and then writing 25k in a week. Once I wrote 10k in a single day. If you’re a writer, too, I bet we have something in common: that incredible rush you get when the words are coming easily, when no matter how fast you type, your fingers can’t keep up with how fast the story is coming to you. Those are the moments I live for in my writing. The other times, the times I don’t want to write but have to sit down and get the words out to meet a deadline, aren’t quite as satisfying.
Strangely enough, when I look back at the book later, I couldn’t tell you which parts came easily to me, and which came out slowly, one word at a time.
I know an author who writes 100 words a day. That’s a small amount — not even half a page — but it’s really just a way for her to BICHOK (Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard). When you BICHOK, your book gets written. Some days, writing each of those 100 words is like wringing blood from a stone. Others, the times flies and you look up at dinnertime to realize you’ve written thousands of words. One day, you type the words “The End.”
Wherever you are on your writer’s journey, please know you are not alone. And whether you are “actively writing” or “have written,” you deserve to wear your title as a writer with pride.
By New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Shoshanna Evers writing as Shoshanna Gabriel