I feel like I should have accomplished something this week: something, anything creative. I should have tried harder to preserve time for myself or, as J.K. Rowling advises, brutally protected my writing time. What does that even mean? I’ve never been a consistent writer; I can’t just start typing at the same time every day or every specific day. I’m aware it’s supposed to be a habit a person develops and despite my addictive nature, designated writing time has never been a practice I was able to adopt. Oh, how I’ve tried. I don’t think that makes me a bad writer, maybe just less prolific than others. If that’s true, what makes someone a good writer? Does “good” apply to the writer as they write or to the quality of what they produce? You can see I’m busy making excuses for not actively writing. But I did write, or tried to, the last time I had a free moment. By “free” I mean that I was able to carve out a couple hours last Sunday between WW work and caring for my mother. I think I played more levels of Candy Crush in that couple of hours than words I was able to organize in a logical order. I’m tired and I love what I do so much that I forget how difficult it can be. I’m so invested in the success of our judges and our members that I ignore the mental and emotional toll WW takes on me. Writing is mentally and emotionally exhausting too. Whether you mark “a good writer” as being someone who writes amazing quality, someone who produces fair quality quickly, or someone who can stick to a consistent writing schedule, it’s your choice. So many possibilities and measurement methods exist that we have the opportunity to decide our own ruler of “good”. For me, I feel I’m a good writer when the quality of my work is clear on the first draft. I’m always jealous of writers who can create on a schedule or who can produce rapidly. I’ll never be those writers and on days like today, where I had to look up the last time I was creative, I do feel like a bad writer.
I know that someday, when I decide to focus less on everyone else, I can be brutal and guard the time I spend writing my own projects. I think we focus too much on the negative and that deters us from moving forward. So you didn’t finish writing that novel you started three years ago, or you haven’t written anything in months, or you stare at that evil blinking cursor your entire designated daily writing time. That doesn’t make you bad. You’re still in this, you still want it. You will always be a writer. Fiction projects: 2 Fiction words this week: 1332
About the Author: Theresa Green is the co-founder of The Writer's Workout and a crime fiction writer.