November 10, 2023

Casting off the case of the “I shoulds”…& why, maybe, that’s okay.

Yesterday morning I was having an identity crisis, of sorts. 

Why? Because I was a writer who didn’t feel like a writer. I hadn’t written.

It’s really that simple. I could stop writing right now, content with having shared the point of my ever-roaming thoughts on the topic. But I won’t, because there’s a little more to it. The question Waylon Lewis asked our community last week: “What are you not writing?” kept repeating itself in my thoughts. I sat with the confusion and the guilt of not turning a blank page into a shareable story, or a poem, or a recipe.

I sat down hard with those emotions.

And then I thought about what I had been writing. What I had shared.

I might not have started writing the 52 article ideas swimming about in my mind, or the book I’ve been taking notes about for months, or the recipe I made for my grandma this week. But I have written. I’ve shared my heart in emails. I’ve written Instagram posts. I’ve sent long, rambling texts to loved ones updating them on my life and the lives of those I live with. I’ve strung word after word together each day that I “didn’t write” but they weren’t in ways that I was considering counted as my writing.

Today, I’m sitting with the emotions that brought up.

am a writer. And I’m writing but I’m not writing what I’ve been told I “should” be writing as a writer. And maybe, just maybe, right now, that’s okay.

I’m casting off the “I shoulds” with my writing today because I am only human. There are only so many hours in a day and I’m doing so many other “shoulds” and “needs” and “wants” and “musts” in my life right now. I’m showing up in ways I never would have imagined a year ago. I believe that sometimes we need to cast off the “shoulds” in order to keep functioning and find space for the “joys.”

am a writer and that means that what I’m writing, matters. And that I will continue to write those article ideas, tackle that book idea, and finish the recipes on my to-do list. I’m not stopping. I just sometimes take a pause from the bigger items to focus on the smaller, and maybe you do too. Maybe we need to pause to find the joy, and that joy will find its way onto the blank page.

What are you not writing? Or perhaps, more importantly, what are you writing? 

I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

~

“Writing is not about writing. Any great author, any great book—when they’re writing about it’s not about writing. It’s about writing truth. It’s about writing heart.” ~ Waylon Lewis⁠ ⁠

If you’re ready to step away from your pause and leap into your bigger project:

We’ve created The How to Write, Publish, & Sell the Hell out of your Book: The Bundle. where you can find our best writing-a-book courses and resources in one helpful bundle this National Novel Writing Month.⁠ ⁠

*Only avaliable for a limited time. 

Author’s Note: Writing is one of my passions and I’ve been lucky enough to make it a part of my profession as the Director of Elephant Academy here at Elephant, where we teach people to find their voice & write their heart out. 

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