This is a guest post by Emily Milsom.
Many people might tell you they don’t have the space in their lives for writing, either it’s because of a time issue, or no physical space to write in.
For others it’s because after a long day, they don’t feel as if they have the mental capacity to even begin writing.
I believe many writers have an additional issue to work through.
They don’t have space in their mind.
Mostly because many modern lives are set up to focus on what we feel we should do, and not what we want to do.
Space in Your Brain
Mindset plays a huge role in your ability to get words down on paper for many reasons. As with most things, the ability to write regularly is often tied to the habits you can create for yourself. And habits are created by the brain.
For instance, if you’re an early bird, by waking up an hour or two earlier each day, you create ‘extra’ time to write in in a way which suits your personality.
Anything you do which suits your personality is easier to maintain and your brain resists less.
If you’re a person who always puts writing off, perhaps a gung-ho approach of ‘I write first each day’ might be better. This ensures no matter what happens that day, you will always have completed something towards your goal.
And funnily enough, often once you’ve written something, you become far more productive with the rest of your day. Well at least I do!
We periodically create new physical spaces in our lives and it’s often the first step for many new writers. Move a desk from one room to the next, pop a chair next to it and add all your notebooks to the shelf.
Boom, writing space created!
But then why do these spaces often go unused?
I theorise it’s because space hasn’t been created in the mind at the same time.
My suggestion to you is to make sure you think about writing every day or talk to someone about it.
Keep writing an active part of your daily thoughts, and you’ll find the desire to write grows until it becomes something you just have to do.
Space in Your Life
For me writing is a joyful activity and I only do it when I feel in a good place mentally.
I don’t see much benefit from putting huge amounts of pressure on myself to write or stick to a blogging deadline if my head or heart are hurting.
I prioritise what I need.
This then allows me to query internally if I would I like to write that day, rather than feeling like a failure if I don’t. Often the answer is yes when I ask like this, especially if I’m passionate about my current project.
Forcing any kind of behaviour doesn’t work for the way my mind works.
Instead I create space in my life which I could use to write by asking myself if I want to write each day. Each time I ask I think only of the day I’m asking on.
No guilt if I choose not to write, and definitely no guilt if I’ve not picked up my pen for a few weeks, or longer.
To create a productive habit, I personally try to carry out a writing-related task each day. This ensures I’ve always got it in my conscious mind, whether it be straight up writing, revising some work, or editing other people’s work.
All count and push me towards my goal of creating stories and resulting in a space of my life filled with something I love.
Space in Your Heart
An important thing to remember when writing is you’re not doing it for anyone else—it should be for you.
Yes, as you get popular you may have people who are also enjoying your work, but the moment you start writing for them without consideration for how it adds to your life and enriches you, I think that’s when you disconnect your heart from the process and eventually lead to failure.
The activities we take on in life—particularly those which are our hobbies—are the ones which need to feed our souls. If they become toxic they sour our enjoyment and hurt our heart.
This why for me I have to write with passion and love my story. If I don’t I won’t continue.
To me there’s no sense in writing stories I don’t care about or don’t want to fill my brain with. I can easily write for work—that purpose is separate—but when it’s only for me, it needs to be for the right reasons.
However you want to write is right.
What makes your heart fill up is right for you, so respect that space.
It’s such a common misconception that to write it has to be a certain way. That only a full-length fiction novel or a thought-based journal counts. In reality you can choose to express yourself with the written word in any way you wish, and it counts.
Write for You
We are all writers and we are allowed to create the space in our minds, in our lives, and in our hearts to explore that side of us.
By making room up in all these places we are acknowledging its importance to us. We are saying this isn’t something that can be pushed aside. Writing is part of who I am and I’m ready to welcome it in. Let it bring a blanket and a cushion. Let it get settled.
Bring it into who you are, and the life you’re living, and I guarantee you’ll find more success with it than any productivity solution you might find.
Write for yourself, however that looks.