After several weeks of not meeting my 2022 Writing Goal of writing between 2 to 8 hours every day, I began doubting my commitment to being a writer. Again.
I asked myself if I truly wanted to write. Because if I do, why am I not meeting my writing goal?
Except, this time I asked myself from a place of kindness and curiosity instead of blame and self-loathing. This seemingly tiny change had me seeking out answers from one of my favorite writers, Elizabeth Gilbert.
As for discipline – it’s important, but sort of over-rated. The more important virtue for a writer, I believe, is self-forgiveness. Because your writing will always disappoint you. Your laziness will always disappoint you. You will make vows: “I’m going to write for an hour every day,” and then you won’t do it. You will think: “I suck, I’m such a failure. I’m washed-up.” Continuing to write after that heartache of disappointment doesn’t take only discipline, but also self-forgiveness (which comes from a place of kind and encouraging and motherly love).Elizabeth Gilbert’s Thoughts on Writing
Thank you Liz for emphasizing that self-forgiveness is important! I am and will constantly be disappointing myself in the future, therefore it is essential for me to learn self-forgiveness.
Self-forgiveness and reminding myself of the reason I desire to write. What I also need is an encouraging writing manifesto that reminds me of why I want to become an author even though my writing ability has not yet caught up to all the stories I want to tell.
When I was writing “Eat, Pray, Love”, I had just as a strong a mantra of THIS SUCKS ringing through my head as anyone does when they write anything. But I had a clarion moment of truth during the process of that book. One day, when I was agonizing over how utterly bad my writing felt, I realized: “That’s actually not my problem.” The point I realized was this – I never promised the universe that I would write brilliantly; I only promised the universe that I would write. So I put my head down and sweated through it, as per my vows.Elizabeth Gilbert’s Thoughts on Writing
2022 Writing Manifesto
I want to spend the next 10 years of my life writing books that provide readers with an escape and hopefully a bit of inspiration for when life gets difficult. Books that the teen me and the teenager in me still, would love to read in one sitting. Every day, I will try to appreciate how much my writing has improved and not feel daunted by how much better it can be.
2022 Weekly Writing Task List
- Read 30 minutes of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic every week to keep me motivated to continue writing daily.
- Read 30 minutes of r/writing every week and join in the conversation if I feel I can add to it.
- Write daily about anything I want but it needs to be daily.
If a Writing Manifesto is not the answer for me to write daily, then I will continue seeking alternative solutions. I’m determined to become a writer!
Your struggle rings true to me, as I’m sure it does for many others. I think we will always have self doubt, no matter how successful we are. It’s up to us how to make peace with it, and how to pick up after each “disappointment” and continue on, ever forward.