If you go on Twitter, you already know what a writer is: a fierce, stalking animal that eats words and breathes beautifully wrought sentences.
There are no bathroom breaks, snack breaks, blow your nose into your hanky breaks. There is only you and your computer in a dimly lit room, burning cigarette jammed in your mouth and tumbler full of vodka on your desk, no coaster.
You don’t have time for fucking coasters.
And for a long, long, long time, I too, believed this is what a writer is. In fact, I lamented the fact that I didn’t smoke, and even toyed with the idea of taking it up. Me. Yogi Ericka, enjoying herself a cancer stick.
It’s part of the reason why I’ve been dialing back my relationship with social media. There is always the picture of what you should be doing and how you should be doing it.
And I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being told what the fuck to do.
So I decided to rethink my life, and in rethinking my life, I’ve started to rethink my writing career. And here are the nuts and bolts of it:
- I don’t always write, but I’m still a writer. Your brain needs breaks sometimes. Your body needs sleep. Your soul needs friends and good food and time to recalculate. Don’t sacrifice your body for your work because your work will suffer, too.
- Sometimes a novel needs a little breathing room. I like to think of writing as an art. And I’ve never known an artist to rush their masterpiece. I don’t necessarily link being prolific to being good. And I make it a habit to always choose good over anything else.
- Guilt can shove a pointed spoon up its arse. You didn’t write today? No worries, my friend. Sucking on that guilt lozenge won’t force the words to come any faster. Trust me.
Listen: do you. Be you. If sucking on cancer sticks, drinking your vodka and banging out words is your thing, then high five my friend and put a bird on it.
But if you exist somewhere outside of the “writer’s box” like little ‘ol me, no sweat. There’s room for you and your beautiful face.
At least I still don’t use coasters, right?