Like that adorable fish, Dory, in Pixar’s Finding Nemo, sometimes when things get hard I will remind myself sometimes to “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming…” You may laugh but I’m entirely serious. 🙂 I love her little reminder to just keep going.
As a writer sometimes I need my own version of Dory’s “Just keep swimming”. I have to tell myself to Just Keep Writing.
I have the tendency, and I’m certain I am not alone on this one, to edit my work as I go. I did a lot of this when I first started writing. I wrote three fourths of a novel, then decided I didn’t like the perspective I’d chosen. So, I went back through the whole thing and changed perspective. As a note, if at all possible, don’t ever put yourself in that position. It’s miserable to catch all the first person perspective and switch to third. But this was my first attempt at a novel and was really just an adventure in learning what not to do. 🙂
Fortunately, I’ve learned since my earlier work to push forward instead of going back to edit. I have a novel essentially finished that I wrote following the Just Keep Writing advice. I did not spend a lot of time writing and re-writing and re-writing some more the same beginning chapters. Instead I wrote the earlier chapters (that need work) then left them and moved on to the later chapters. I now have the bones of the book and can go back now and focus on editing. I haven’t tackled this fully, but when I set aside the time, my focus can be on improving, rather than just getting it on the page, as I was with the first draft.
But it’s not just when we try to edit as we write that we need the Just Keep Writing reminder. It’s when we get stuck, or feel we are stuck. It’s when we are not happy with what we are writing. It’s when we don’t feel like writing at all. It’s when we are discouraged with feedback we got on a piece that is critiqued. It’s when we feel like we have nothing in the world worth sharing with the world. It’s when we are just tired and don’t feel like it. It’s when whatever it is that is holding us back from getting the words on the page tries to prevent us from moving forward.
We have to just keep writing. 🙂
Have a happy writing week!