There is so much pressure today to be better, quicker, faster, more efficient, more creative, and to be constantly doing something “worthy”. (Oh, how I hate that word.)
For writers, the pressure is on to write every day, to consistently be inspired and enthusiastic, to produce work on a regular basis, to be observant at all times and ready to scribble neat notes about human frailty and gestures and asides that no one else would notice except a writer into a suitably dog-eared notebook…in other words, to live the life of a “proper writer.”
Just so you know, for the past few weeks I have been drinking wine and eating variations on a lemon/chocolate theme on the couch while binge-watching Scandi-Noir crime series on Netflix. (For the record, Deadwind was my favourite.) Yes, I would like to be more productive, but I have needed space and downtime. I’m still a good writer, even though – because of difficult life circumstances, and because I simply haven’t wanted to – I haven’t written anything of note for some time.
It will come again.
It will for you, too. You don’t have to live the life of a proper writer. Not if you don’t want to. (Apart from bingeing on gruesome Finnish crime scenes and melting moments whilst in one’s pyjamas perhaps, I’m not even sure exactly what it means, anyway.) You have to live your life. And sometimes that life requires…not much of anything. Or rest. Or healing. Or endless Netflix binges. Or other things entirely. Or all of this.
Just ensure that you enjoy it and feel fed by it, instead of constantly feeling like you should be doing something else. You’ll know when it’s time to apply yourself again. You’ll get restless. You’ll want more. You’ll be ready.
So give yourself what you need today, and know that you are doing better than you think.