Dealing with Impatience and Uncertainty as a writer- Anewya

Yes the dream work may or may not be a bed of roses

Whatever your art form or area of expertise, you’ll have to live with this uncertainty if you ever want to get your creation out there in the world. But how do I deal with how my art is perceived?

 I am speaking on Writing(every day) here which is (not)surprisingly more difficult than I thought it would be. One nearly certain way to give up on a writing session is to allow thoughts such as, “What right do I have to speak?” or “Why am I wasting my time? I’ll never get published!” to creep in. Authors need to banish “the psychological carnivores that prey upon confidence” and have “Faith in our subject matter, faith that needed language resides in us, faith that our meaning-making through writing is worthwhile” (Romano, 2 000,  p. 30, p. 20). Successful authors have learned to stay in the moment rather than dwelling on the other things ( from as severe as a blooming pandemic to as cute as the cat wanting your attention) they might be doing instead.

Convince yourself that writing is what you are doing now and commit yourself to doing only those tasks that will support the writing effort. When the composing process is stalled or unproductive, switch to a different task. Go back and search the literature or check references, for example, rather than stare at a blinking cursor waiting for inspiration. Many people mistakenly assume that “real” writers need only write down the brilliant, perfectly worded sentences that spring to mind. However, one reason that writing is categorized as a process and a craft is that writers write (and revise) ideas into being. 

Another way of subduing impatience is to decode your optimal work habits. Relegate tasks with fewer cognitive demands (for example, answering routine student questions about assignments) to less-than-peak mental performance times and reserve writing for times when your brain feels “fresh”. Instead of setting unrealistic goals (e.g., “I’m going to write a publishable article this weekend”), set very modest objectives (e.g., “I’m going to take some notes on what I’ve read and categorize them”, “I think I’ll reread and experiment with a different organizational structure today.” or “I’m going to play around with article titles because I have to be at this boring meeting.”) 

    Cope with Time Constraints

 After I was encouraged to submit a proposal for a book on controversial issues in HR for practitioners, I contacted doctoral candidates and recent program alumni to contribute chapters. Publication was just about guaranteed and all of students and former students delivered the chapters on time and in good shape, even though all of them were busy professionals with full-time jobs. This example illustrates that time is not the issue. Every human being on the planet, no matter how accomplished, has the same 24 hour day to work with; the difference is in how that time is allocated. Consider a study of faculty in the fi eld of dentistry; the number one reason that unpublished faculty gave for failing to write was lack of time (Srinivasan, Poorni, Sujatha, & Kumar,  2014 ).

Yet if time is the only variable, are we then to assume that those who publish aren’t as busy as those unpublished?

Why write? Day 1

Is a pencil mightier than a sword?

Daily writing is something I’ve struggled with for years. I wanted it badly, but I didn’t have the right discipline in place. I’d write for a couple of weeks straight then something(mostly my own laziness) would derail me. Blogging here forces me to write nearly every day, but I’m learning that isn’t enough. This post is for my future self to show that I struggled and I published despite that. So today not knowing what to write about, here I am listing down the reasons why I should keep at it:

  1. To vent out. To talk about everything that stirs my heart albeit temporarily.
  2. Improve my thought process and the more I write, the more I think clearly
  3. To know and understand what I want.

These reasons might sound very abstract to you but to me, they are reasons enough to persist. Thanks to Simon Sinek, aren’t we always asking ourselves why we do what we do?

So is writing easy? Definitely not! It’s like putting down your naked thoughts for the passerby’s to comment. Perfectionism also causes writers to obsess about the finished product. They erroneously think that “good” writers easily churn out articles and books and that they must be “bad” writers because they struggle.

Don’t write a lot. Just write often.

Spending five hours on a Saturday writing isn’t nearly as valuable as spending 30 minutes a day every day of the week. Especially when you’re just getting started. The idea is repetition, developing a discipline of showing up, making this a priority, and working through The Resistance. Thus, authors first need to generate quite a bit of text and then set about deciding what to keep and what to toss away. Fortunately, with time and experience, this process becomes more efficient. Fingers crossed.

      Be Realistic About Criticism

Authors would do well to abandon the fantasy that the readers, editors, reviewers’ responses to their write up will be, “Please, don’t change a word”. I read somewhere that an editor with 25 years of experience editing a journal reported that she could recall just five occasions when this was the response of three independent reviewers to a writeup. One should accept that the act of submitting a work invites critique and that a recommendation to “revise and resubmit” is a positive outcome.

I will not allow my feelings to be hurt, withdraw the manuscript rather than make the requested revisions, or fire off an indignant, defensive message or mail to the reader. Writers need to develop a “thick skin” rather than take criticism personally. Just as a professor does not expect a standing ovation at the conclusion of each class taught, writers should not expect uncritical acceptance of each work published.

Now that I am writing almost daily I can say that writing is not the most time-consuming part of the process; it is rewriting and recorrecting significantly and still, it feels unpublishable. I pledge to persist despite those disappointing early drafts that can be revised into something publishable.

Hope Floats.

Writer Who?

Source: www.frepik.com

A writer writes stories, rather weaves words in the form of a story. A story good or bad is still a story that is special to the one who writes it. If he/she/they are lucky enough the readers like it too. A reader has it easy as they flip through pages yearning to know what happens next. The writer of the story is where the struggle lies because stories are the blood, sweat, and tears of a dreamer who sees the world in a very different light.

Those writers who are brave enough to show their most vulnerable part i.e their writing call themselves an author. That is just my made-up definition, let’s look at how they have been described. So, how is the word “author” defined? Originally, the word meant anyone who was the originator of something(God!?!). Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defined authorship as “One who produces, creates, or brings into being.” Over time, definitions of the word author have become much more sharply focused on written composition.  The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language online defines an author as: “The original writer of a literary work. One who practices writing as a profession” and adds “to assume responsibility for the content of a published text.”Fancy stuff.

Yet writing something original for publication and taking responsibility for it can be a daunting task. Many times the blogs/articles produced while still figuring out if writing is the thing for you (like me) could best be described as “stringing pearls” of wisdom that have been gleaned*(not using too obvious a word) from other sources.

Source: http://Thesaurus.plus

Even the likes of J K Rowling and James Patterson spoke about the uncomfortable realities, both internal and external, that can at times make writing a struggle. Many writers and first time authors worry that they are pretenders who will be unmasked at some point. Thank God, we are not alone.

Imposter Syndrome: Feeling Like a Fraud

Do you sometimes worry that your ignorance will be exposed? I do. Don’t worry, these feelings are so commonplace that it has had a name since the 1970s: the imposter syndrome/phenomenon. As if writing was not hard enough we now have to deal with our own insecurities.

I knew this word did not apply to me until of course, I started this blog. My head was the chaos I could not untangle in my own words; I was only a cutter and a paster, a borrower, a fake. I could understand why most writing enthusiasts struggle with important expectations for their writing i.e to “make a contribution” and “advance thinking in the field.” Little wonder, that so many writers falter at showing their work.

Oh and not to forget that all your feelings are also available for public viewing somewhere on the internet.Because at some point early on, you forsook your privacy for your passion.Damn.