Writers write.

A writer never has a vacation. For a writer life consists of either writing or thinking about writing. ~ Eugene Ionesco

Writers write. Sometimes we have a notebook, and a pen in front of us. Sometimes we have nothing but loose scraps of paper, others we have a keyboard. But we write. We always write.

Even when we are not writing.

We write when we are riding the bus, with our headphones on, and a little fight scene is playing out in our head. We make up dialogues between our characters long before we put the characters to page. We know that our protagonists like ice-cream, but only the fruit flavours. We’ve been thinking about our protagonist all day after all. We’ve been interacting with them in our head for ours, to the point we start to notice that when they are nervous, they bite their nails, but only in their left hand, that sometimes when they feel too low, they won’t shower for days, or go out, just to feel guilty about it later.

We write, even when we are not writing.

All the times between our little writing sessions, are our brainstorming times. That’s when true magic happens, when we learn our characters, when we learn our setting, and find out why our antagonist is being such an asshole lately.

Because, you see, we are in love even with that antagonist. We know why they are the way they are, the reason behind their every decision, no matter how cruel, and unkind they might appear. We know what hurt them, what broke them, what made them laugh again for the first time.

Sometimes, those things never make it to page. We think of our stories and our writing, and yet so little sees the light of day. Or the light of a lamp. But still, these are things that help us grow as writers, that allow us to know all the little nooks and crannies of our world, so when the reader finally gets to meet our characters, and read our story, they are welcomed to a new world, pulsing, and vibrant.

Writers write.

Always.

P. S. : Everything you do and say will be used in a story at a later time.

Self-doubt is our enemy.

The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. ~ Sylvia Plath

As artists, we spend so much time alone in our own heads, sometimes it’s easy to get lost, to lose track of what’s important and what’s not. We are so critical of our art and our every decision, that it’s easy to turn that critical eye on ourselves, and turn savage.

We are so far more brutal with ourselves, than we are with anyone else. We hurt us with words far more cruel than anyone else can concoct. We are well-versed in the art of tearing ourselves down.

Self-doubt is the worst illness for an artist, for our creativity. And it is an illness that we always carry, waiting to strike, to rise up whenever we are at our most vulnerable.

“I’m not good enough.” 

“This has been done before.”

“Nobody will care, what’s the point.”

“This is childish.”

There is a difference though in being critical, and in letting self-doubt consume us. There is a difference, because the first means we are self-aware, that we realise our mistakes, and we try to fix them, that we make an effort to improve and strengthen ourselves.

Self-doubt just means we are riddled with insecurities, we carry the views of others, of society, and our own on our back like a cross. Self-doubt never reflects reality. We sit in front of a mirror, and we see a distorted image. We are right then and there our very worst enemy.

Self-doubt is nothing more than a rotten feeling that settles in our gut and takes over. It grips our heart and our mind and it won’t let go unless we make it. And it’s hard. It’s so hard to start seeing ourselves and our art as something with value, something that is worth it and should be here. And yet, nobody is going to build us up, unless we do it first.

We need to be our biggest fan, our strongest supporter, our own little generator of happiness.

We need to be the cake, so when others come, they can be the icing.

But we need to be our own cake, our own confidence, our own happiness.

Show me the moonlight.

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~ Anton Chekhov

Writing, for me, in its essence is about evoking emotion in the reader. A good story will get us to feel, it will tag on our heartstrings. Whether it makes us angry, happy, upset, or if we hurl the book half-way across the room in frustration.

The emotion doesn’t matter, as long as we feel. And we can’t feel unless we are immersed in the story. We need a world as alive and colourful as our own, characters as close to us as family and friends, strife as close and important as the ones we face on our own.

We can’t do that unless we watch the sun cast highlights in the love – interest’s hair, if we don’t catch that twitch of anger in the protagonist when he’s faced with his enemy. We can’t, unless we hear our favourite character hum, when he’s cooking  his way too spicy mac-n-cheese.

We need to see the world, to breathe the world. We need to feel along with the protagonist. We read stories because we want to be immersed, because we want to be transported.

Stories are made of emotions.

And the only way we feel emotions in a story, is if we see them.

We want the butterflies in the stomach, the blurry eyes from tears, the shudders of pleasure, the restlessness of excitement.

We need the emotions to fall in love with the story.

We need to see.

Or else, why read at all?