I can remember the moment I fell in love with writing. It was in 2nd grade, and we were supposed to be working on math, but all I wanted to do was finish an imaginary story I had started that was loosely based on the movie Selena. Yep, my first foray into writing was essentially J-Lo fan-fiction, and I’m all right with that, because it showed me that one idea can spark many more. I remember as a little kid experiencing that joyful feeling of catching yourself losing track of time. I now recognize that sensation of getting lost in your passion as pure life gold and I try to mine it whenever possible.
Still, just because you discover what it is you really, really love to do, it doesn’t always mean pursuing your dream is easy. As with many creative endeavors, you have to figure out what sacrifices you’re willing to make, how to balance your art with other aspects of your life, and how to keep going when you experience inevitable disappointments.
Writing, by nature, is a solitary experience. Unless you’re in a writer’s room brainstorming lines for a TV show (dream job!) you’re probably sitting at a desk, in your bed, or at your dining room table, with just your thoughts. And it’s not just the physical act of writing that’s solitary; it’s often also the many experiences and moments of reflection that have to happen in order for good ideas to surface. But no matter what you write about or how often, all writers go through universal experiences and emotions that can be challenging, discouraging, and hard to understand unless you’re putting pen to paper. You’re not alone in feeling those feels, because these are all common things writers go through at one point or another:
Worrying that you’ll run out of good ideas
I don’t know a single writer who doesn’t have this fear, whether it pops up on a day-to-day basis or takes up extended residency for a long phase of writer’s block. When you’re feeling uninspired, try to remember that a good idea can come from the most unexpected places. Looking at the world in a slightly new way can be a catalyst for new thoughts and ideas; getting a breath of fresh air, a change of scenery, or listening to a perspective that’s different from your own can inspire a whole slew of new thoughts. Also, simply not trying to have any brilliant, logically-sound ideas can be liberating. Sometimes it’s when we give ourselves permission to have random, nonsensical thoughts that we actually come up with our most creative, insightful ideas. Take a cue from the Queen of Hearts and try to believe “six impossible things before breakfast,” no judgement allowed!