I have learned that it's not just about writing about all those real life moments you have lived through, but it's also about emotions. We've all known sadness, fear, disappointment, love, and so many other emotions that inspire the characters we write and the stories we tell.
But for me lately, even that new level of understanding feels crippling. Whether I try to write what I know or what I feel, lately I just feel stuck. In the midst of an extremely stressful time, I prefer to escape into writing and frankly, writing from those raw places sometimes hurts.
I've started approaching my writing in a completely different way these days. Instead of writing what I know or what I feel, I'm writing what I enjoy. I'm finally smiling as I write. I'm laughing to myself as I write out the scenes. This has made writing fun again. I feel like I'm a kid playing pretend all over again.
Will this story get published? Who knows. I'm not even thinking about it yet. Honestly, I'm just glad I'm enjoying writing again. Like, really enjoying it.
Have you ever felt stuck in your writing? Maybe you are beginning to hate that novel you are working on, or the article you are trying to piece together, or that short story that can't seem to get an ending. If that sounds like you, put that piece of writing aside. For now, write something you enjoy. You may not figure out what that is yet, but I encourage you to keep looking and trying out new ways to write. Try poetry. Try scriptwriting. Try a memoir. Try something you've never written before. Try something silly or something terrifying. Write what you enjoy. Write what you would want to read.
This approach may not result into a bestselling novel. In fact, it may not be read by anyone but you. Yet, I'm a strong believer that exercising that muscle of enjoying our creative work is just as important as exercising the muscle of discipline that sits us down in the chair. Both go together. Once I've begun to enjoy writing again, maybe I can finally figure out how to apply that age old advice of 'write what you know (or feel)." And who knows? Maybe that story I am enjoying will end up a bestseller after all.