I recently learned that blog posts are important. I also recently learned that for me, writing keeps me sane.
My year has been horrible, to be honest, with my grandma being sick with cancer and never leaving the hospital alive again, and then my dad dying unexpectedly in August.
I wanted to do so much this year—and I didn’t.
I didn’t release the four books I’d planned to release, and I also didn’t start with releasing another one until August.
However, I never stopped writing. I wrote fan fiction, because that’s for the heart. I wrote romances. Because those are for the soul. And I wrote fantasy because that’s for fun. I wrote everything, played around with POVs, with tenses, with styles. I played around with ideas and I tried to sit down daily to write.
Did I make that? No. However, I’m currently looking at 700k+ words written for this year so far, and that’s without January’s words.
I doubt that those are epic. Hell, I doubt half of those are good, but I know I grew. I grew a lot as an author because I know now what I can and what I certainly can’t do. All because of words. A lot of words.
Some say I’m a fast writer. I know I’m faster than some, and I also know I’m much, much slower than a lot of others.
I also learned a lot about myself while writing those words. Like… I’m not a planner, no matter what, but that doesn’t mean I have plot holes because I still read what I wrote and find where I messed up. However, if I plan the stories they still don’t work out the way I plan do. So I gave up planning to a certain extend. I have bullet points eventually so I know what I still need to implement and what I want, but other than that? My characters rule the show.
Also… I know and admire people who can start one book, stick with it, and finish it. I’m not one of those people. I tried, and I stuck with one story for a lot of days (like… a lot for me. I usually switch after 20k, for some reason) and I managed to reach 50k on that story. But I’ve reached a point where I wanted to ditch that story. Not just the last part, but the entire book. It’s weird.
So I did what I always do: I switched. And guess what? I suddenly know how to go on. I know what Rainey is going to do now, why she did what she did in the last part.
Switching saved my story.
What I’m trying to say is I know so many amazing writers and authors, so many successful ones and so many I think should be so much more successful than they are, but we’re all different, and what works for them, what I might consider necessary to be a better author, doesn’t automatically mean it works for me.
Can I train myself to be a planner instead of pantster? To write one book instead of two or three?
Probably, but do I really want to? Writing is my passion, and I love doing it, so why force myself to something that takes the pleasure out of it? What I do works somehow (don’t ask me how, I haven’t figured it out), but it does.
So, here’s the last thing I learned this year. Words matter. Write them. Make yourself write every day, or aim for it at least. Don’t feel your story? Write about your daughter, your dog, whatever, but write. Play with perspectives, tenses, words. Grow by writing nonsense, because every word you—we—write makes us a better writer than we were yesterday. Make yourself happy.
Also… don’t lose your passion, and if nothing helps, write for yourself. Write yourself a better life, a healthier body, a world to escape to.
We’re writers. We create our own bubbles. It’s what keeps us sane.