I started food blogging fairly recently. I was feeling extremely lost, I was finishing up my contracting job at a corporate company which I honestly dreaded going to because I felt that I wasn’t doing what I was passionate about. I needed something. I needed something that would make me feel like I was on the right track in life, I needed something that would make me feel like I was doing what I was meant to actually do.
I truly believe everybody has that THING that they should be doing. Whether that is a passion, a hobby, a talent they were born with or something they’re extremely eager to learn, the majority of people all have that one thing that they can genuinely say: “I was meant for this.” I wanted to be that person, however I didn’t know if what I was passionate about would lead to an actual stable income. I used to always joke that I would be a struggling writer for the rest of my life, but to be completely honest, I’ve been there and it’s not fun. It’s hard, it’s stressful, and nothing at all like the movies where you’re holed up in your cute apartment and smoking a cigarette like Carrie Bradshaw and writing articles while buying overpriced shoes.
I’ve always had dreams and aspirations of being a best-selling author, I have so many ideas I’ve put to paper but the problem is this: I am my own worst critic. As we all are of course. However, this has led me to dig myself into such a dark and deep hole of negativity that it caused me to stop writing. It caused my mind to go through an endless loop that went something like this:
Me: I should write.
Other me: Sure, it’ll probably suck though
Me: Why would it suck? How do you know
Other me: Because everything you write sucks
Me: That’s not true, that one article I wrote was great
Other me: No it wasn’t
Me: I’ll just try
Other me: Maybe tomorrow, you’ll feel better tomorrow, the environment isn’t right
Me: Okay tomorrow then
Me: I should write
Other me: Okay write
Other me: Hmm… yep, I told you, you sort of suck
Has this ever happened to you? Maybe it hasn’t. If it hasn’t, I applaud you and would love to know how you do it. If it does happen to you, I am grateful to know I am not alone, and I hope you somewhat feel the same way.
The fact of the matter is that we as writers live in our head. We could probably live over 100 different types of lives in our head without even moving. We are creators, inventors, we do things differently than others. And with that being said, we are rare. Which is why it’s so important to shut that “other me” voice off immediately when you feel it saying things that conflict with your gut. Who cares if what you write sucks? It most likely does! However if you keep putting things off until you’re in a so called better mood or in a better environment, you will never get anything done. Trust me, I’ve been waiting for the, ‘right moment’ for a long time and it still has not come. It probably never will. Your moment is always now. You get a great idea while you’re in the bathroom? Good thing you got your phone. Feel like going to a coffee shop to write instead of watching TV? That might happen rarely but I know that thought does in fact occur to you, you just push it aside. Don’t do that. Get up, pack a bag, grab your lap top or notepad and go to the coffee shop. The thing is, inspiration can hit you at random times which is why you should always take advantage of it. And I’m not saying you should only write when it does hit, because motivation and inspiration are both fleeting. You need to create that discipline, that habit of writing every single day, especially when you don’t feel like it.
I want to share a few things that I started doing that helped me become more accountable to my writing. I hope these help you in some way.
- Wake up earlier. You’ve got a busy day ahead of you, set some time aside for writing in the morning, when you’re fresh and the stresses of the day haven’t touched your soul yet. Wake up 20, 30, 60 minutes earlier, whatever you can, and simply write
- Don’t edit your writing, especially on the first day of writing something. Write out your first draft and set it aside, forget about it, come back to it later
- Turn your phone off, unless music helps your focus, turn that off too, classical music is a good option if you need the noise
- Create a good environment for yourself. If you enjoy writing at home, buy a desk, or light some candles, whatever it may be, if this is something you want to do for the rest of your life, make it so that you actually want to be where you will be doing it
- When writing, don’t stop to think. Sometimes, you just need to set a timer and write continuously without stopping. Even if you begin writing nonsense, you will always find something good in it
- Lastly, just do it. I know this is an obvious one, but you just have to do it. Don’t put it off, don’t wait for inspiration or motivation to hit, however when it does, cease that moment. And on other days, lean on your discipline and that habit that you have created
I hope these help you! Let me know if you have any other tips and tricks!