Last night, as I sank into my cozy bed surrounded by my two favorite girls aka the Basset hounds and the remote control, I surfed the channels. Stumbling upon The Hallmark Channel, I stopped and immediately got sucked into the story. The premise was a writer who was struggling to write her next book and a chef who was reinventing himself. I don’t have to tell you anymore as the ending was more predictable than the weather. I rolled my eyes at how effortlessly she wrote her book once she had met this particular man.
I muted the television and reached for my laptop thinking that because I watched this, the great American novel would spill out of my core. Of course, I sat there staring blankly at the screen. My confusion lies as to what I am suppose to write. I have dabbled and have files of saved projects that never quite feel right. I want to create something that has meaning, and there in lies the problem – writing for pleasure has taken a vacation and now all I want to do is write for the wider audience. Way too much pressure and frankly, that takes all the fun out of it.
If I have learned anything, it is the realization that when I do anything for the admiration or affirmation of others, then I need to stop and figure out why. You see, my writing has been a source of purging, comfort, therapy, and humor. When I write my blog, I don’t just do it to appease others, I do it for me. Selfish? Not really. My best work is when I have something to really share instead of doing it just to fulfill the action. That goes for anything in life – I must be fully invested or the action is empty.
Did I write last night? A little, but the substance was weak. I am in the process of figuring out what kind of writer I am. Until those pivotal questions are answered, I will stick with writing when the feeling moves me. Timing is essential. Forcing it removes the substance.