Amongst my friends, Neil Gaiman’s speech is famous. You know, the one where he encourages people to make good art. And to keep going towards the mountain. It turns out my mountain got lost along the way.
All my life and growing up, I wanted to be an author. There was nothing I wanted more than to be an author. I wrote all the time, created short stories, novels, you name it, and I’ve done it. And then I stopped.
Life got in the way; I got busy. I never stopped writing, but it turned from writing fiction to blogging and content marketing and using my words to convince others to take action. Now there is nothing wrong with that. And I loved that I could help others with my words. But I became too tired to write for fun. Too stuck in the regime of blog posts that nothing else came out.
I tried it yesterday. Wrote a little bit of fiction, not much, 300 words and they all felt wrong. Nothing came out the way it was supposed to. It felt stiff, uninspired, and there was no story behind it. It seemed I have lost my spark.
I know that a big part of writing (fiction) is pushing through. I am getting over the fear of the blank page. And write. Sometimes when you think about something too much, nothing comes, and you get stuck. Somehow I couldn’t push past the stuckness this time. Not like I can with blog posts.
Since the beginning of January, a writer friend and I have been writing 500 words daily. She writes fiction, and I write blogs. This should be the ideal time to make the transition and to start working on my fiction skills again. Then why am I not doing it?
Part of that is the severe amount of pressure I’m currently putting on myself where I feel like I have to do anything and everything like finding a job and (paid) work and clients. Oh, and on top of that, I also need to write fiction again. I feel stuck in myself and my brain.
So how do you get out? How do I make sure that I love writing again? And that I make the most of these joined writing sessions every morning? How do I make the shift from writing blog posts to writing fiction?
First of all, I need to start reading again. Get more stories in my head and also get out of my head and into the world more. Get more input and find inspiration. That came even be by walking around and getting some fresh air. But getting outside and not staring at the screen will be instrumental in being able to get inspired.
And then I think it comes down to this: get your butt in your chair and write. No excuses and push through. And yes, that is the hardest part.