I Gave Up Writing, And Then I Am Publishing One Article A Day
My story of crashing and re-emerging
I started writing in the month of December. I was going full throttle for 3 months till February, all gung-ho about my writing. Everything was going my way.
And then it crashed.
This is how it went kaput. After Covid, with everything functioning online, we came down to our hometown for some time. Happy, to be back home, I gave a few days of break to myself to soak in the change. New place, new routine, people visiting, I visiting people — a few days soon turned into weeks.
Relax, just enjoy the moment — I kept telling myself.
Soon, my writing trickled down to almost one or two articles per month! I don’t know, I just fell off the wagon!
No matter how hard I tried to bounce back, I couldn’t go back to my old pace. I would start something, but couldn’t finish. The articles did not seem good enough. And they were left as drafts.
I had to do something about it.
List of things that I am doing
- I have challenged myself to a 30-day challenge and told 10 people
- I have let go of the intent to produce the perfect story
- I do not have a specific time to write; I sneak in some
- I choose carefully where to offer my story
- I read, read, and read some more
- I have developed a thick skin
I have challenged myself to a 30-day challenge and told 10 people
Suddenly, my brain went from ‘must write’ mode to ‘have to write’ mode. Now, I had a sheet to fill each day. A glimpse of my sheet:
When I fail to update the sheet, I feel guilty and the day feels incomplete.
I have made it public, one of them being my daughter- a person who looks up to me.
I am feeling the pressure to perform. But as they say, the mind works best under pressure. At least it’s working for me, till now.
While earlier, the brain had to be dragged to function, my brain now runs at a full-efficiency mode, trying to maximize the output. I, now, am in a hurry to finish the race. So, some days I finish one article and quickly start the next one so that I save some time the next day, thinking about what to write.
Some motivation, anh?
I have let go of the intent to produce the perfect story
You have got to bare it all, baby!
Be clear about the objectives of the exercise. For me, it was that I wanted to grow from a hesitant, occasional writer( that I had become) to a prolific writer. Just that.
I was very clear that I am not going to be bothered about how many views I have got, how many followers I had, or what was the reading percentage.
This challenge was only for ME.
The need to make the story simple perfect took too long to come up with. I was all cynical about everything. The sentence had to look perfect, the formatting had to be spot-on, and the flow too. Once, I let go of that, I am able to write more.
And that is what my mission is — write more.
How do you see yourself at the end of the challenge?
I do not have a specific time to write; I sneak in some
Earlier, I had a specific routine with my writing. But with the change of place, it got disturbed. I was not able to set a routine. My mind caved like a recluse and accepted(conveniently) that maybe, it’s not happening here. Once I go back, I will. Promise.
But, with that, it so happened that not writing became a habit.
I can give a number of reasons, but ultimately it is what I come up with, is that really matters.
Writing consistently makes writing faster. So that you write more in less time.
After I have challenged myself, I easily sneak in time to write some and more. It’s the same place, the same set of people, and the same routine. But now, my mind has switched off from external things and has been more focused on the writing.
I choose carefully where to offer my story
I have always been a fan of growing( I prefer this word over ‘small’) publications.
With a high acceptability quotient, low gestation period( from submission to publishing), and the absence of the pickiness of formatting the story, these publications are fun to write for.
First of all the low turnaround time is a big booster to keep that writing engine charge towards the 30-day destination. And once the story is published and you see people reading and engaging with you; it propels the boat faster for the next story.
Again, when you have the freedom to write the story your way- your words, your language, and your way to put it, there is a freedom you experience. It takes off a lot of pressure to tell in a certain way. The pen flows smoother.
I read, read, and read some more
Joseph Addison has rightly said;
Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body.
Being a writer, you know how crucial it is to keep a fit mind. Reading opens so many doors.
It inspires you for your next story. A thought that generates, a similar experience that you can write about, or if-they-can-I-can-too feelings are great leads for your next writing session.
I have developed a thick skin
I don’t care how much readership I am getting for my articles. One of my poems had a staggering number of 3! My lowest!
Don’t care. Don’t stop. You have given yourself a free-pass, remember?
Make full use of it. Go into things you have never tried to. Explore out in different genres. No one is judging you. Like I ventured into poems. It was not that rewarding, but I am happy I tried.
I do not hold against publications for rejecting my stories. I just re-submit somewhere else. I just move on to my next story. Once I have published my story, I simply switch to the next one, detached from the former. I am not bothered about the outcome of the article.
30 days — it’s all about writing, writing, and writing.
Oh! I do that a lot. It’s my way of keeping myself motivated. I love talking to myself. I tell myself a lot of things, scold myself, praise myself.
Is this how you want to spend your time?
Remember, Aashvi is watching you and learning. Act before you preach.
10 years later you don’t want to think- I could have used my time so much better. Act now.
A ‘No’ will not define you. Be your own judge. Are you happy with your work? Yes? Then keep doing it.
See what I mean? This is just me. This works for me.
To be continued..
No matter what you do, how bad, but you will see some results. For sure. No effort has ever gone wasted. Something will come out of it.
I am yet to cover a lot of ground and have not seen any fireworks yet, but I am totally into this thing. I am surely going to finish it. I know it.
I will come back with my trophy after I have crossed the ribbon. Hey, I am the only one running here, I am sure to win!
Till then, my friends.