I was thinking about how I used to write before I started self publishing. I didn’t think about word counts per day, or how fast I was writing, or deadlines and how many books I was finishing in a space of time. I just wrote, when I wanted to write and when I was inspired to.
Did that mean I wrote more slowly? For my non fiction works, I did write them very slowly because it takes time to write personal essays of that nature. For my fiction works, I actually wrote much faster before I began self publishing. The writing flowed and I didn’t have much trouble.
As soon as I started self publishing, and spending time reading about other writers and comparing myself to them, I began to write slower. I became slower and slower as the months went by. Checking sales figures and for reviews, and worrying about all the business of self publishing weighed down on me. It became a business. It became work.
That may sound foolish – of course writing is work – but it used to be fun. It used to be my heart’s desire. It was what I did to escape from work when I had regular jobs. Then it became a chore. Writing became hard, because of all the pressure I put on myself. I had to write quickly. I had to write perfectly. I had to publish rapidly and sell well. I had to be perfect, comparable to all the other writers. I had to be the best.
I want to return to how I was. Not in an effort to produce work faster, but so I can stop being so hard on myself and so I can enjoy writing again. I don’t want to think about everything that bothers me so much. I just want to write because I want to, when I want to, and be happy about my work again. Writing isn’t supposed to be torture. I started doing it because I love it, and that’s why I should still do it. Not out of obligation or pressure or duty. Not to meet a goal. But because it’s what I love to do. If I’m going to do a job I hate I may as well get an ordinary job, where at least I’ll have a regular, higher income.
Writing is supposed to be my love. So I’ll do it for love.