Advice that shouldn't have to be given, and yet…

You know how sometimes people give you advice that is so simple that it’s actually kind of revolutionary? There was a lot of that at Juniper. One of the best things that I heard that week, in various ways from most every author, is that you can’t fetishize your writing process. If you say you only write on your laptop in the back table of a Starbucks after work, you’re probably going to make excuses instead of writing anywhere else. Even worse, the pressure of being where you think you should be able to write will probably make the actual writing harder. I don’t suffer as much with physical process, but I think this applies to deadlines as well. Part of the undergrad struggle is having only barely enough time to write for each class deadline, amongst a ton of other stuff essays and work issues and that tiny shred of hope for a social life that we all desperately cling to. Most stories I’ve turned in came from the 48 hours before a due date, from a pretty uninspired idea and an all-nighter to fill a page count. Usually something decent comes out of revising it, but I rarely really love what I end up with. This is where the single most frequently given piece of advice comes in: you have to do something related to writing everyday. Writing. Reading. Blogging? (Does that count? I say it does.) The combination of these two kind of leads to Arisa Wright’s perfectly flooring statement, “I think we all take ourselves so seriously. When you get that relaxation, that’s where the juicy stuff happens.” My problem lately is that I have loose guidelines for an extension on my Great Author Immersion directed study so I’m not forced to write right this second. Plus, I’m trying to work on planning and spending time on these. Which is actually making me way too attached to the ideas to actually get anything done as far as real writing. It turns out these simple pieces of advice are harder to follow than they seem. But in the interest of not taking myself so seriously, I decided to try something that’s maybe actually like, fun? Groundbreaking, I know.

Soooooo, today my writing process is leftover gluten free Pieology (for obvious reasons), a movie I’ve seen a billion times so I can listen but not have to pay attention (Twilight, chosen for soundtrack, aesthetically pleasing color scheme, and Rob Pattinson, obviously), and the fantastic Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half (which if you haven’t read I must insist you get off my blog and read everything she has ever created RIGHT NOW). This is the writing process for someone who is trying very hard to be “chill” or whatever. I feel very very good about it.

xx, Tab

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