Today’s post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a blog hop hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. It’s a way for insecure writers like myself give each other advice and encouragement. Click here to see a full list of participating blogs.
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Most of the writing rules you hear aren’t true. Don’t edit anything until you’ve completed your first draft. Always avoid the passive voice, the verb to be, and adverbs. If you can’t write X number of words each day (even on Christmas), you shouldn’t call yourself a writer.
All of that is absolute rubbish. Granted, some of it has a kernel of truth, but people take these rules too far, preaching them as Writing Commandments, eternal and inviolable. They forget that real writers need to be flexible and that what works for some people might not work for everyone.
THE BAD ADVICE I LISTENED TO
I know all this, yet there is one piece of advice I have clung to for far too long: you must post something on your blog at least once a week (preferably twice). Otherwise, your readers will lose interest and go away. Forever.
I guess my stats have probably dropped since I took my three week blogging break, but that’s a sacrifice I had to make. In the last year, I’ve been writing some of the best material in my whole life, but I could not remember why I was doing this in the first place.
I mean that literally. I literally could not remember why I’d decided to be a writer, though I felt pretty sure I had a good and noble reason for it when I started. I’d become obsessed with stats and schedules and getting likes and comments and hopefully someday earning an income as a writer… but I couldn’t remember the point of writing.
So I stopped.
HOW I FIXED MY MISTAKE
I spent some time away from writing. I did a little traveling (San Francisco is gorgeous). I reconnected with some of my favorite books (don’t give up, Frodo!). Sooner than I expected, I got excited about writing again, and then there was no stopping me. I’d found my reason for writing. I’d remembered. That reason is a little too personal to share on the Internet, but trust me: it’s a good one. And now I’ve created a little reminder for myself just in case I ever forget again.
Going forward, I still believe it’s important to post something at least once a week (preferably twice), but that rule now comes with a caveat: take a blogging break every once in awhile, keep in touch with your reason for writing, and don’t ever take your stats too seriously.