Some questions I have been asking myself recently…
Is there any point?
Will my work ever be as good as the stuff I love to read?
Is writing a waste of time for me?
Is that piece I submitted a few weeks ago actually any good?
You get the gist… I’m led to believe that I’m not the only aspiring writer who feels like this. In fact, it seems to come with the territory.
Once you start looking, though, there are so many ways to tackle this and an amazing community of writers out there who are ready to help you get your motivation back.
One thing I’ve found immensely helpful is a podcast I’ve recently discovered called The Write Now Podcast with Sarah Werner. I only wish I’d found it sooner! Sarah is a writer too and is hugely passionate about it, but like most of us, she struggles to juggle writing alongside her other commitments, she gets disheartened sometimes and on occasion suffers from ‘imposter syndrome’. Aka, she’s just like me.
There’s over fifty podcasts to listen to and I’ve been bingeing on them on recent car journeys (and listening to them all out of order). They are packed with genuinely motivational tips from herself and other writers. Themes include how to overcome writer’s block, careers for writers and the most important questions a writer can ever ask. She also regularly interviews really interesting people in the writing community who are experts in everything from nonfiction to flash fiction and online marketing. Sarah’s podcast is definitely my ‘go-to’ now if I’m ever feeling disheartened.
After listening to hours and hours of her podcasts, a few things have particularly stayed with me.
1. Done is better than perfect
This is a great mantra for anyone who is tempted to self edit or reads back a draft and tosses it aside because it’s ‘not good enough’. Just finish it! You can always edit it later on and make it sound beautiful.
2. The most important question a writer can ask is – why?
E.g. why is your character doing that? Going through your writing and asking this question will help give your characters real motivation and therefore more depth.
3. The second most important question is – what is the most interesting thing that can happen next?
As someone who struggles with story ideas and plotting, this is has been super useful and I keep going back to it.
4. Write for one person
I really like this idea. Instead of trying to second guess what everyone in the world might think of your piece, or that one really critical person who has never liked you and therefore your writing, picture one person when you are writing. Write for them. It might be a family member or a particularly inspirational and supportive tutor.
5. You are good enough!
Every single writer struggles with rejection, lack of confidence, writer’s block and all those other issues at some point. The best thing I can do, as someone who loves to write, is just write. It’s never wasted time.
Thank you, Sarah, from your latest subscriber.