Being a writer, as well as a representative of any other creative profession, has much more to do with labor than with art, in my opinion. Although the popular stereotype about any creative person is these people lead a bohemian lifestyle, go to many parties, galleries, and other glamorous events, in reality, creative people are rather disciplined. Unlike many other people, creative individuals usually have a deeper knowledge of themselves; however, this knowledge often makes such people too self-demanding.
Remember how many times you forced yourself to sit extra hours at your desk or computer in desperate attempts to squeeze another three pages to finish a chapter or an academic paper? I bet you know the feeling when your brain feels like a squeezed lemon. Imagine you were a docker who had to carry heavy things here and there all day long. At some point, a docker feels he cannot lift anything, because his or her muscles are tired and ache. It’s a normal thing called fatigue; you can’t deny it’s normal. Go do 300 push-ups in a row. Will you be able at least to lift your arm after this?
So, why do you keep believing you are some kind of a superman who never feels tired? What is this approach anyways? Writers often behave like their brain isn’t organic, but is some kind of an intelligent machine that can work for centuries; so they write, and write, and write… and in the end, their writing is so bad they have to edit, edit, edit in the same emergency mode to make their writing look readable. Give yourself a break! Don’t be so pushy. Feel like a lemon? Go have a rest. No coffee, cigarettes, push-ups, energy drinks, and other garbage will boost you as much as a good rest and a break from writing.
What I am trying to say is that writing is as difficult as any other work. Those who think writing is easy should try writing 600-word essays, or short stories, or poems for hours on end every single day. I bet they can’t bear it, but you can.
So, appreciate your gift—look after it, as if it was a rare tropical plant. Would you be yelling at such a plant with a speech like, “Come on, flower! Bloom faster! More colors!” (Actually, that’s what you do when you try to force more and more out of yourself… it can lead to a burnout). No, instead you water that flower, create all the needed conditions for it, and when it finally blossoms, you feel joy and satisfaction.
Treat yourself and your talent like that.
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