Blogging has never been a primary interest of mine.
I’d much rather read blogs than I would write them. Not surprisingly, considering my reading lists, I’m pretty particular about what I read.
But when you are trying to do 365 days of blogging, one must write.
Today was one of those days where I struggled. Nothing seemed to be in any sort of order. I fought with words, I struggled with characters, and I threatened murder on several occasions. This blog itself was a struggle which is why I’m writing it at almost 8 pm tonight.
Struggle days are fine. There’s nothing wrong with a struggle day despite the constant complaining I do about having struggle days. Struggle days, well, they’re just part and parcel of being a writer. I’ve yet to meet a single writer who doesn’t struggle at some point.
You can do a lot of things when you’re struggling and one of them I am doing right now.
The first thing is to take a self-care day. Set things to the side and take a breather. Let things ferment. (Favourite option. I ferment ideas like a good kombucha tea)
The second thing is to power through (annoying, hate this option), and force yourself to get everything done. This is what I am doing today and once again I hate this option.
The third thing is to cut the workload in half. For example, instead of my usual 3000+words and blog, I may have done only 1500+ words and half a decent blog. (let’s face it, is this blog even decent in the first place).
Now there are other options, of course there are, but this is the options I roll with. Sometimes you really need to take that self-care day. You need to wine and dine your muse, ply them with seductive bits of art and yummy tidbits of creativity. You need to bathe them in hot water and feel them relax. (I’m getting sleepy thinking about it). You curl up with a good book and let yourself relax the day away. (did I mention that this is my favourite option because it is).
And some days you really need to kick your own ass. Because if you don’t, it is very easy to get into self-care weeks, months, years (speaking from experience). It is is very easy to slip into a ‘well I can do it tomorrow’ mindset. You need to sit down and like poison from a wound suck out every ounce of creative discipline you have and apply it toward your writing. You need to sit there and let the pain overwhelm you as you stare at your screen or paper and try to will the story to life.
The third option? It is the best of both worlds. You are still doing the work but you aren’t beating yourself up about it. You’re performing the delicate balance between mindset and self-kindness. You’re a circus act in the making, letting yourself find your way without being mean to yourself. As much as I love self-care days, and as much as the kick thine own ass days work, the third option is the healthiest for me. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and allows for mistakes. It allows for fun to be had without the pressure.
Pressure makes diamonds. But remember that diamonds aren’t much more than sparkly rocks to a lot of people. They might not be as valuable as you think they are. It is important to allow yourself time to learn when you need the pressure of a deadline and when you need the almost holy experience of self-care. You can take it easy on yourself.
Because in the end, you have to live with what you do to yourself and what you allow to happen. If the pressure isn’t working, don’t beat yourself up. Sometimes pressure doesn’t make diamonds. Sometimes carbon is just carbon. That’s the way of it. You need to give yourself the time to learn how you operate best. Maybe you are like me where you need to balance self-care with pressure. Or maybe you thrill at pressure. Or it could make you nervous. There’s no right answer.
Find what’s right for you and let it surface through your trial and error as a writer. You’ll find it easier if you learn how best to operate for you.
Words written: 3001
Blogs written: 5/365
Social Media Channels advertised to: 2