In writing, I often find I’m the one getting in my own way. Letting days go by without writing much more than a grocery list and then berating myself about my own self importance, that someone would actually miss the words I didn’t write. But the point of writing, at least for me, is not to hit the publish button but to feel a sense of self accomplishment about lining up a few words in a way that makes sense of what I’m feeling.
I’m in the third part of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, Creative Living Beyond Fear, a section titled Permission. It’s my third or fourth read through of a book that can always reignite my passion about writing when it starts lagging or falling apart as it has been lately. Here is the sentence I needed to read this morning…
Keep in mind that for most of history people just made things, and they didn’t make such a big freaking deal of it.
This gives me permission to simply write, spill out my thoughts, get them down for a first draft that no one will ever have to see. I don’t have to spend thirty minutes on the right word for bravery when bravery is exactly the word to use. I don’t need to freak out that someone’s going to know all my secrets when and if they read this thing. I won’t suddenly combust if that happens. Another thing I don’t need to do because no one is strapping me to my desk, is to write. I’m doing it because I want to do it.
So keep at the writing, even and especially if you’ve fallen off for a few days, weeks or months. You know there’s something inside you that wants, needs, you to keep doing this mystical thing. There is something about it that satisfies and soothes or you wouldn’t feel called to do it. Right?
Nope, nothing to see here. Just doing a little writing. No big freaking deal.