Writing Life: It’s Okay to be Human

Through the Woods

Find your inner "happy place." Image © will wilson *

Writing is an art.  You read, write, research, and observe to hone your craft; work yourself dizzy trying to make every word in every sentence in every paragraph just perfect.  We toil, we cry, we let our index fingers hover threateningly over the “delete” key, after an angry ctrl+a….  But we recoil, and we do because, no matter how much we cry, we still love what we do.  I’m here today to tell you:

It’s okay to be human.

We all have lives, jobs, and families that continue buzzing about as we sit with our backs to the world, trying to allot our novel some love before the high-pitched screaming toddler in the background will eventually require a diaper change.  We love our novels, but it’s okay to love the rest of our lives, too, because, I repeat:

It’s okay to be human.

Our pets need feeding, our spouses need reassuring, our bills need paying, our lives need livingWriting is important to you, and you want to do it well.  Everyone will tell you that you need to write to improve your craft.  You need to write and read and research and write some more– and they’re right!  But you’ll never improve your writing with your face on your keyboard in a puddle of your own tears, sobbing over those four pages your child lost when she gave the keyboard a swat.

Go to your happy place.  If you have to sacrifice ten minutes of writing for your own mental health and inner quiet, would you really consider that a set back?  Your writing will improve when your state of mind improves.  I don’t know about you, but the more stressed I get, the worse I feel, the less likely I am to write anything worthwhile.  I forget to eat, my brain stops functioning, I get dizzy and irritable and prone to tears and rude outbursts.  Take a breath.  Take a walk.  Read something for fun instead of for the sake of picking apart storytelling strategy.  Have a glass of water to rehydrate yourself.  Remember:

It’s okay to be human.

How can you create humanity in your writing if you don’t allow a bit for yourself?

 

How do you deal with stress?  Do you have a “happy place” or a de-stressing routine?  How do you find silence in your every day life?

 

Flickr Photo: Will Wilson

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8 Comments

Filed under Writing, Writing Life

8 responses to “Writing Life: It’s Okay to be Human

  1. I SO AGREE WITH YOU. *sigh* It’s such a hard thing to remember, though, isn’t it? That we’re allowed to be human and not only writing machines? There’s this idea in my head that to be a perfect writer, I must write all the time, like Harriet the Spy, and that if I don’t then I’m somehow neglecting my duty….

    My de-stressing routine is usually to lie down and read for a bit, get lost in a world other than my own little bubble of life.

    • I know right!? It’s like this pressure weighing down on you, mumbling in your ear that if you’re not busy, you’re not a writer and no one will respect you. It’s an awful feeling. I knew I couldn’t be the only one, and figured others could benefit from the reminder. <3

  2. Love this. Thanks for the reminder Kit!

  3. Being human? I can do that? I thought I could but I just wasn’t sure. Now if you can just convince alpha alter-ego Perfectionist Me to stop trying to be the perfect writer and the perfect mother and the perfect wife I might have time to relax. Seriously, I think so many of us struggle with our own pre-conceived notions of what we need to be doing as writers, squeezing that writing time in, building a social media platform and all that, we forget about caring for ourselves. If our brains are frazzled, we are not going to be giving our best to our writing anyway. Thanks for the reminder. I’m going to take a break, sit in the backyard and eat a candy bar now. :)

  4. Unabridged Girl

    One of the biggest things I’ve learned about writing, is you can’t write if you’re not living. It’s amazing how much material can be gleaned from simple living, rather it has to do with the story or not. Living instill emotion, and what is writing without emotion?

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