Wednesday, January 30, 2019

NOURISH | My #1 Tip for Learning How to Love Your Writing

Earlier this week, I was holed up in my room, writing my novel,
when I realized the impossible: I was actually enjoying myself.

This might sound ridiculous if you are genuinely pretty confident about your writing, or if you really dig in and lose yourself in your story. While I have moments like that now, for a while there, I felt really stressed about my novel.

I struggled to enjoy crafting my own specific story because I was constantly thinking with the end in mind: When is this project going to be finished? Will this ever get published? What will people think of my words? What if they're absolute garbage?

When I realized that I was legitimately enjoying writing my book, even in its (very) rough draft form, I knew something had changed.

It wasn't my story. It's still in shambles, with lots of editing left ahead of it (bless). No, it was my perspective. *Light bulb* I was no longer writing to please others, or to meet a deadline, or because I felt I had any semblance of responsibility to anyone or anything.

Simply, I was writing for moi. And it was awesome.

Perhaps this is something you have known for a while and you are reading this thinking, "Duh, Erin! Write for yourself. Enjoy the process already." And to that I say, wow, you're totally right. But also, WHO ARE YOU. Somewhere along the way (and I suspect comparison plays heavily into this), I lost a little bit of the wonder of novel writing and instead started to think about the end result and what other people would think of my words (ew). So I tried to write Really Resonant Prose (double ew), but it just came off feeling inauthentic to my voice.

Hear me out: Trying to sound like someone else is exhausting.

In writing for myself I realized that my writing voice is a bit weird. (Big surprise.) It's a little humorous, a little out there, and if I don't sound like some of my favorite writers (I totally don't), THAT'S OK. I sound like me. I'm the only one who can. So why has it taken me so long to embrace that?

Once I was able to put aside the all-consuming thought that Real Live Humans will read my novel one day (oof, my child), I started to sound like myself and have fun.

Does a character seem too flat? Let's give them a love of opera and rainbow sock hats. Are certain scenes too introspective? Let's add some Stellar Quips. I just started doling out ridiculous sentences into this story like Oprah gifting people new cars. 

After all, how can you expect another lovely soul to enjoy your writing if you (its metaphorical mother or father) aren't having fun with it? If it's not authentic to you?

Y'all: YA GOTTA LOVE IT. That's my number one tip: Write for yourself, and the joy that encouraged you to write the story in the first place will nourish your heart and actually make you a better, more genuine writer. So let yourself write that really indulgent, cheesy first draft. And then edit it to pieces.

What about you?

Have you ever struggled to enjoy your own writing, and if so, what has helped you nourish your process? And if you could describe your own writing style in an aesthetic, what would it be? Thanks for reading, as always!

This is the last post in the NOURISH series!
Click here to browse through all the posts in the series.
I'll see you all in February to reveal a new theme!


  1. This makes a lot of sense and I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Aw thank you so much Kara! Glad you enjoyed it!! <3 :)

  2. Loved reading this. You are an inspiration and so insightful!

    1. Oh my goodness Vanessa this comment made me smile so big! Thank you so much. You are the sweetest ever! Thanks so much for reading GAH. <3

  3. I love moments like that, when you suddenly realize writing can be fun. Enjoying it should be a part of the creative process.

    1. Yes it's literally the best thing! I hate that I lost the joy of it along the way, but re-visiting that happiness by just letting myself be completely dorky while writing has been awesome. Thanks so much for reading, Skye! <3 :)

  4. Everyone has their unique voice and that's good! Embrace it!

    1. Thanks so much, Victoria! I don't know why I struggled with embracing my own writing style for a little bit there, but I'm glad I've moved past that. Thanks for the encouragement and reading! :) <3

  5. I have definitely struggled to enjoy my writing. Often times I would write and hate it or look back at it and hate it. But lately I've simply been going for it and reminding myself to lay down the bare bones. Editing and revising can add the muscles and flesh later.

    I don't have to be like other writers -- I can hone in on MY strengths and simply do my best.

    1. You are definitely not alone! I have felt the same way before, especially looking back on writing that has yet to be edited (which is totally unfair to the process). I love that you are just going for it, Rosie! That's the way to live. I totally agree, get those general concepts down on paper first, and then let editing breathe new life into the work.

      You are exactly right! No one else can be the writer that you can. Only you can write what's in your heart and tell your stories. And I love your writing!

      Thanks so much for commenting, it means a lot to me. :)


Go with grace.