I think one of the most dangerous parts of social media is how it lets competitive people (say…me) see how quickly other authors work. While just generally seeing books come out is a big indicator, seeing updates on the feed can give a sense of “I’m writing a lot, awesome!” or “How do these people do it, have they no lives? Am I a failure?”
I know I’m not the fastest writer, and a lot of my writer friends write full-time or may not have the same obligations I do (although I’m sure they have plenty of others). And yes, I’m sure for some of them, writing might come more easily. But that doesn’t mean I don’t look at their word counts and my word counts, and think I’m an utter failure.
But I’m not! One of the hardest things about being in the publishing world (author, editor, or just SEEING it happen) is that as a writer, I feel like I need to be an author. As in, I can’t just write to write. I have to write to published. Which puts pressure on how many words I write and if the content is marketable and if the writing is good enough.
And that can really take away from why we write to begin with: because we enjoy it. Or at least that’s why I write. I write because I want to tell a story. And yes, I want to tell the story the best way I can. And yes, I’d love for other people to read this story. But instead of being competitive or disheartened because I only write 5K a month and other people write 5K a day, I need to just return to enjoying writing.
That’s not to say I don’t enjoy writing now. But I think I need to find the part of me that really enjoyed it (say, in college or six years ago) and see if I can find balance. Because I hope if I enjoy writing the story more, then people will enjoy reading the story more.
And if anyone has any suggestions, let me know!
|My temporary workstation.|
But for now I’m going to be happy that I do get to write as much as I do. Because if I push too hard, I think it’ll be a chore. And that’s now what writing should ever be to me (because I hate chores). So I may not put out a book a month or two books a year or even one book a year (though I’d like to put out at least one a year), but as long as we’re all having fun, that’s the important part, right?