Write anyway

Writing

I started on my NaNoWriMo project, but life, as it often does, has other ideas. I already knew I would have hernia surgery later this month. And then, we got a call from our Registrar of Voters asking for volunteers to be poll workers. They are expecting a large turnout for these midterms, even bigger than the 2016 presidential election. I couldn’t write about the importance of voting and democracy without doing my part, so I volunteered.

Everyone who writes has their time limited in some way. Family emergencies, overtime at work, distractions from social media, or just those dry spells when words don’t seem to come. Write anyway.

Write even if you don’t expect to complete a draft. Those word doodles can get reused or possibly solve a problem in another story.

Write even if you have just a few minutes. You can use a mobile app like Scrivener for iOS. Adding a few sentences to your work is better than making no progress at all.

Write even when you’re facing difficulties and hardships that overwhelm you. We often hear that it takes great pain to create great art. It is true. In my bad year of 2016, I completed drafts of two novels, The Remainders and Amiga. Those books provided a respite from my problems and enabled me to put my feelings into words.

Write even when you doubt yourself. You don’t know what you’re capable of doing until you put in the work.

Write even if things look hopeless in the world. Your work can offer comfort, understanding, and hope. It may even be a catalyst for change.

I still plan to complete at least a start of a draft for NaNoWriMo. It is a worthwhile goal. But I will write anyway. So should you. And what I don’t finish in NaNoWriMo, I can still do in Fun a Day.


Originally published at Matthew Arnold Stern.