Valerie Rutherford (fireflys_locket) wrote,
Valerie Rutherford
fireflys_locket

Like Magic

For the past four months, I've been chasing how writing felt before I was an author. How it felt when I was young and years away from publishing. It was magical. It was natural. It was my escape. It was freedom. It was alive and breathing. And it was joyful, even when my life was full of thorns with no roses.

Writing was the one thing I loved about myself in a childhood full of anxiety and bullying. It was the one thing I knew I could do well. And I didn't work on it because I wanted it to be my future career. I did it because I loved it. Because I couldn't NOT write. It flowed out of me faster than I could keep up sometimes.

And now that I've removed the pressure to produce, it's been happening again. I have to rush to take notes every day or two. And I am still getting some editing done on my next book. That's just taken a backseat to all of the new ideas flowing out of me. Editing is now something I return to when I feel like working on it, instead of because I think I "should".

My process has always been pretty different from the norm. Sometimes slow, with a lot of reflecting before I write. And often based in "waiting" for inspiration. (Or what I like to call "courting" inspiration.) And I've agonized over why I can't be like everyone else. But in the end, I don't really want to be. I don't want to exchange this process that feels like magic but takes patience, for one that feels like work but allows me to produce more. My mental health can't really take that, either.

I'm not trying to say my way is the "right" way. I know this method wouldn't work for every writer, particularly those on deadlines. But I'm not every writer. I'm me. I know I can't handle the pressure of a deadline, so why did I keep trying to make self-imposed ones? Because I wanted to fit in. To feel like a "real" author. Comparison can be poison.

Now, I'm focusing on being a writer first, author second. I (re)published a book last year and made progress on editing another. But the best thing I gained was clarity about my writing journey. That I need to create from the love of it again, instead of chasing goals and external success. We all have to go our own way with creativity. 💕
Tags: anxiety, writing
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