What 2015 Taught Me About Writing

7:00 AM


In other words: a lot.


Not gonna lie, 2015 was a rough year for writing. I cried, gave myself some wrist injuries, took long hiatuses, scrapped drafts, panicked, and basically wallowed through a whole lot of writer feels. Blogging suffered, too. A lot of stuff went on in 2015 that I didn't plan and it fed into my writing and threw all my plans in the dumpster.

Because writing is just like this I learned more this year than I've learned in the past. So that's pretty cool. I could make like fifty posts about every single thing, because there's a lot, but here's the main lesson I had to learn the hard way:

My writing isn't going to be perfect. Ever.

Like most writerly people out there, perfectionism is an issue for me. I like to write well and show people that awesome writing. I like to nail character development. I like to make people cry. I like my plots to be airtight, like that ever happens. If we're talking about having high standards mine broke right through the graph a while ago. 

Hence the tears and anxiety and frustration, because that stuff doesn't happen. Ever. 

This year I had expectations for myself. There were things I wanted to finish and fix. I wanted to have a really solid grip on Pariah by now. I'm still figuring out basic plot. I wanted to write some more first drafts. I did some, but not all the ones I wanted to get to. I'm swimming in story ideas (I have about 20 on Pinterest right now). 2015 was the year of failing deadlines, sending drafts to betas when I knew they sucked because I'd promised some steampunk murder and couldn't fail these people now, and throwing things across the room. 

I set goals for myself that I think I can accomplish, and then I let myself down. 

Every. Single. Time. 
Trying to get my life together like
There's probably about a billion posts about this on the internet, but whatever.

I can't do it. It's not gonna happen, last year or in 2016. Because it's pretty freaking impossible

Like, do you guys realize this? You're not always going to hit personal deadlines. You're not going to write the next Great American Novel in one or two or three or ten drafts, unless you're super talented (in which case, don't even talk to me). You will always let yourself down (and I speak to myself here) because you have an idea of what excellent writing is in your head and it's almost always ridiculously high. I stress over doing things I wouldn't expect a writer friend to be able to do, what's the fairness in that? 

2015 was the year of learning how to chill out

I'm sure I'll hit the same problems this year, and have the same expectations. But hopefully I'll be a little better at managing them. I had to learn the hard, tear-filled way, but I'm so glad I did. 

Here's to 2016, the year of editing Pariah AGAIN. 


NOTE: I'll be on a complete internet hiatus for the rest of this week, because I'm crazy like that, so I won't be answering comments or available on social media until the end of the week. I have posts scheduled, though, so you won't have to be without me any longer. 

15 comments

  1. My writing year was a lot like this, because I am a perfectionist at heart and it's not good. But you're right - it's never going to be perfect, and I think I need someone to drill that into my head every day because I tend to forget (coughignorecough) this and keep trying to make it perfect. Heh. Learning to chill out is probably a good idea. I should try that next year.

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  2. This is something I have to relearn ALL THE TIME. My writing will never be perfect, but I want it to be perfect so badly that often I just paralyze myself. Thanks for writing this post, and I hope you have lots of luck in writing in the coming year!

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    1. Ugh, it's the worst feeling, and I'm still working on fighting it. *sigh*

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  3. I leaned that writers are cruel. And like to wrench away what you love most. Looking at you, Caleb Carr.

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    1. /i have also learned that taking away my ability to write is a bad, bad idea.

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    2. Hahaha, I...I am one of those cruel writers.

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  4. I don't even know how it happened but this post made me cry and I needed to read this so.

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  5. It's disappointing when one can't hit deadlines. I think the key is to not make too big deadlines. Make small ones and build up. I hope 2016 is a year of meeting goals!

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

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  6. Yeah... I think I relate to this because I started college last semester and I got approximately no writing done. And it's sort of hard, not just because I'm not writing, but I can't do a lot of things I used to get to do all the time. It's really disappointing for me. :/ But, I guess the important things are to just keep going, right?

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hey. hey. talk to me. i'm a fan of comments and flailing with you. go for it.