Don't Discount Your Other Writing Efforts

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

It's funny that Cathy C. Hall talked about the "just" trap for writers, because I've been thinking about that same topic lately. Over this past weekend, I worked on a freelance article, and in the back of my mind, I felt guilty for not working on my short stories. 

It's so easy to forget the impact of our other writing efforts. How easy I forget that not too long ago I had a major breakthrough on a short story that had confounded me for a long time. I also have been picking up some freelance projects that have given me some fascinating learning experiences. 

Yet, I still feel like I'm not doing enough. 

Why do we do that to ourselves? In fact, I've often discounted many more writing efforts lately. Last weekend, I worked on a draft for a new short story that I've reached a decision on this past week. All that brainstorming should count. I also started typing up a story last weekend. But that didn't feel like it counted either. I've also been submitting my stories too. Yet, I didn't consider that much of anything either.

All of this I've shared with you is a piece of the writing process puzzle that needs to count. It's all learning, growing, stretching, and building. No, I'm not getting short stories accepted week after week (in fact, today I got a rejection letter). However, I'm still growing as a writer. I also do other kinds of writing, not just fiction, and that's okay. In fact, those efforts count too. It doesn't make me less of a writer just because I'm not the kind of writer I thought I'd be by now.

Based on what Cathy shared, I feel like a lot of writers do that. So, let's not dismiss our other efforts in the writing process. When do dismiss other writing efforts or "just" our successes, like Cathy talked about, I think it depletes our creative energy. 

So, today, I'm allowing my non-writing efforts to count as writing. I may not be where I thought I'd end up by now, but I'm further than where I've been. And to me, that counts.


Angela Mackintosh said...

Nicole, I absolutely agree that there is more to the writing process than writing. I count attending webinars and workshops, reading, discussing books, reviewing, researching markets, submitting, writing pitches, and researching all part of the writing process. There's a reason we hear the advice to let writing sit, because sometimes much of our work comes from mulling over the piece or a scene in our head. So heck yeah, celebrate your brainstorming and submitting! And your freelance writing and even your rejection letters! It all helps to maintain momentum. :)

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

YES! This is definitely something that we all needed to hear. Think about the conversations about story that we have where we pull in books we've read, pieces we are writing, the movies we've seen, etc. It all fuels our writing. Thank you for the reminder!

Cathy C. Hall said...

That's the wonderful thing about being a writer, Nicole. Everything counts! Sitting on the porch, day-dreaming? That counts! Reading till 3 in the morning? That counts! Attending a conference and zoning out during the speaker's presentation? That counts, too!

Every experience goes into our writing...whether we realize it or not. I love that about being a writer, having that moment where I pull up something from a long ago book or presentation or website or memory. I may not remember which book or website or presentation but that's a whole 'nother story. :-)

Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top