I’ve always believed that writing should be fun (regardless of the butt-in-chair, success-through-suffering writing advice that’s often being thrown around out there). However, keeping my writing practice a place where I can relax and create has been a challenge sometimes.
Since I do a lot of public writing, it’s easy to prioritize the responses of those who read my work over what I want to express. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in how my writing could be received that I lose touch with my reasons for writing in the first place—my why.
Then of course there’s also the ongoing emotional rollercoaster of self-doubt and comparison.
On this blog I write a lot for INFPs, and as a writer with this personality type, I’ve found that getting clear on how I want to feel in my writing practice is essential to keeping it enjoyable.
As a writer, it’s easy to tie joy to achievement. It’s like we think to ourselves, “I’ll allow myself to suffer through my process because once I write x amount of words or finish this project, then I can be happy.”
Then you fight through the project, and if you’re lucky, it gets finished, but at the end of it all you may feel a bit dissatisfied or even burned out.
This is because when it comes to writing, achievement is only a tiny part of the experience. The majority of your time will be spent doing the actual writing. So if your writing process feels burdensome, your writing practice as a whole will feel heavy and overwhelming regardless of what you achieve. Realizing this is what motivated me to create a course for INFPs that’s all about falling in love with and staying in love with writing .
When I reflect on the times when my writing felt the most overwhelming, I notice that I felt that way because I got separated from why writing is important to me and how I wanted my writing practice to feel.
You can’t always control the challenges you face in your writing life. There are days when the ideas don’t come and the words won’t fit together right. But you do have control over how you respond to those challenges. You can always keep in front of you how you want your writing practice to feel.
I make loving what I do and how I do it a priority when it comes to my writing. I want my writing to feel comfortable, easy, fun, and intuitive. Knowing how I want to feel makes it easier to create a writing practice that is supportive, even if doing so causes me to break some writing “rules”.
I don’t force myself to sit at some desk all day. I don’t force myself to write a certain number of words. I respect the natural lifespans of my projects, and this approach relieves a lot of stress. I write wherever and whenever I’m comfortable. I don’t worry about style, because my focus is on expressing myself with whatever words arrive the most naturally to me. Being clear on how I want to feel helps me see the opportunities within the writing challenges I face instead of allowing myself to be perpetually overwhelmed.
Having a supportive writing process is an intentional act. It’s an environment hand-crafted by focusing on what the experience of writing means to me and keeping how I want to feel while writing front and center every day.
Much of the writing process involves facing fears and emotions. Knowing how to transform those fears into opportunities and remembering what loving your writing feels like will make all the difference when it comes to approaching writing projects with confidence and joy.