After squirreling through this kind of burn-out more times than I can count, I’ve finally realized that what it all comes down to is trust; total trust that no matter how scary or frustrating or even boring writing can be, it’s what I like to do best in the whole world and it will always be there for me. The other day I made a list of what I’ve learned about writing and trust:
- Trust that when it comes to your own writing, only you can know what’s “right for you.”
- Trust “happy accidents.” Typos or omissions can turn into whole new phrases or ways of looking at a paragraph or character from a fresh perspective.
- Trust that all writing is fixable—no matter how extreme the “mistake.” Every piece of writing contains a nugget of gold.
- Trust that there is always someone who will want to read your work.
- Trust that you can always publish the writing you believe in.
- Trust that weird twist you feel when you just know something in a sentence or scene feels “off.”
- Trust that the right words will come to you to make it all better.
While you’re at it, consider the concept of “distrust.” For instance,
- Distrust the voice that says your writing is “bad.”
- Distrust the critique group member who always, always tells you you’re “wrong.”
- Distrust perfectionism.
- Distrust anything that makes ready excuses for why you can’t write today.
But more than anything, trust that if you’ve ever felt even the smallest urge to write, paint, draw, dance, sing, sculpt—it is a genuine call from your creative spirit! Never ignore the call.
Tip of the Day: Stop what you’re doing and sit down with pen and paper. Trust that the words will come. Start by writing the first word that comes into your head. Then another. And another… See? It’s really that simple. Trust simplicity.