To help us start this month strong, Angi Griffee gives a little encouragement for all of us writers.
Hey there JuNoWriMo-ers! How you doing?
This summer has been a challenge for me. This year, actually, has been a challenge for me in the writing department. There’s always something telling me I don’t have time or I’m not good enough, or maybe I’m even being left behind.
But you know what? None of that is true. And it’s not for you either. If you’re joining us for JuNo, writing matters to you. And we always find time for what matters. It’s not a hobby or extra or whatever, it’s your soul trying to get out on the page – and that matters.
You’re good enough. Remember, this is a first draft. If it’s perfect on the first draft, please come teach me your ways, you word wizard! But you are making words and telling a story and that is good enough.
And I know as writers we tend to get into the comparison game, but you know what’s great? If one bookshelf gets full, we can just make another. There’s no getting left behind, it’s just a matter of endurance. This is a marathon, not a sprint. And you’re doing awesome.
Just remember to feed yourself, get up and stretch, and hydrate. Races are long, even if you’re only competing with yourself. And you’re close to crossing that finish line.
So no matter how it’s going, keep going. One word in front of the other.
It’s always easy to sit down and write when the words are flowing. Those are the best days. You sit down, stretch your fingers over the keys, and with that gentle tap-tap-tap the world that lives in your brain comes to life in front of your eyes. True magic
But what about those days when it’s hard to put a sentence together? What about the times when life stands in between you and the keyboard? The days when you’ve convinced yourself you’re not a writer. Those are the days I’m talking about.
First – everyone has those days. Every. One. If they say different, they are selling something.
Second – it’s gonna happen. Sometimes I can sit down and pump out so many words I have to double check the count to make sure I actually did that. Sometimes, I can’t do anything but read over my last chapter and delete the ten times I used the word Justandalso and so.
Third – One bad day does not equal a wasted month. (Or year, or book, or whatever our brains would like us to believe)
When I get stuck I try to remember those three things. I take a deep breath and think them through.
Don’t get inside your head. Just keep going. You can mold and edit and fix what you write, but if the words aren’t there, it’s harder. We tend to take a slow day of writing and turn it into OH MY GOD I’LL NEVER WRITE ANOTHER WORD WHAT AM I DOING HOW DID I GET HERE WHERE ARE THE SNACKS IS IT FIVE OCLOCK YET?????
But remember – feed yourself, being kind to yourself, stretch, hydrate. It’s amazing what a little grace toward yourself and a deep breath can do
When you start to struggle, think about what you would say to someone else who is struggling. I bet you’d encourage them, tell them they got this, and give them permission to have a slow day. Talk to yourself like you would a friend. Some days you might need tough love, some days you need a break, but every day you need kindness.
So now, do that for yourself. A lot of us think we’re not writers because of where we are in the process. Some of think we’ll never finish that second (or third or tenth) book. All of us worry it won’t be good enough.
If you are writing, you are a writer.
You will finish whatever you put your mind to.
And your words will speak to the people they are supposed to.
All it takes is a whole lotta bravery and a little patience with ourselves.
So happy writing, my friends!!
Now, take a deep breath! Drink your water. Eat some fruit. Because I believe in you. You got this!!! And slow or fast, you’ll get there. Happy writing!
With magic words and love,
Angi Griffee is a dance and theater instructor whose love affair with words helps her create books. She also bakes, sings, and owns Wise Owl Words Editing.