On Doing It Anyway, Even When It’s Messy

JustWrite

I’ve been feeling some type of way about writing fiction lately. Despite loving it, both as a reader and writer, the later has been giving me the blues. We’re two 2+ months into the year and I haven’t been writing. At all.

At first I blamed it on deadlines. I got a couple of big-ish freelance assignments in the first 2 months of the year, and sometimes I feel like I’m on a never-ending treadmill for GOOD ideas, especially for my TakePart column, which is probably the most “serious” writing I do each week. Then, I blamed it on life. You know, being a mom and all that.

But if I’m honest with myself, it’s just straight up procrastination and fear. Fear that I’m not good enough, that my books are just meh, or that I can’t write another 250+ page story that people will love. And fear that all of my books so far have been some kind of magical fluke. Yes, I realize that’s totally nuts. You don’t write as many books as I have on a fluke. Still, this is what my brain tells me.

And then I don’t write. Again.

Instead, I think about writing books. Sometimes I talk about writing books. I read other people’s books, then get down on myself for 1) not writing books, or 2) not being able to write as good as them.

Either way it breaks down the same: I ain’t been writing. And it sucks.

But then something happened this week that made me want to get my ish together. God rolled into my email inbox and told me to stop tripping. First, He came in the form of my homie, writer, friend Christina C. Jones, whose ability to crank out DOPE books makes me seriously jealous. And then He showed up in the form of emails from total strangers asking when I’m going to release another book because they loved what they read and they can’t wait to see what happens next.

And instead of seeing these emails as HUGE FLASHING SIGNS from the Universe to get my butt in front of my laptop to write fiction instead of surf Facebook, I tweeted about it…because, procrastination.

The funny part about all this is I’ve written a lot about procrastination, overcoming fear, and just DOING IT, and sometimes when it comes to my own work, I just cannot.

I’m sure you feel me. How are we so capable to cheer others on, encourage them to go hard, and dream big on one hand, but on the other, we can’t seem to take our own advice?

It’s something I always always ask myself.

I’m always struggling with what I say to others and what my journey as a professional writer looks like to those on the outside vs. what it looks and feels like to me (i.e. me talking about how meeting Oprah didn’t change my life). Some people choose to keep up appearances and pretend that it’s all good, but I just can’t. It wouldn’t feel right.

Life is messy. This process, this journey to become a writer and build the life I want, has been (and is) messy as hell. I’ve have HUGE triumphs and HUGE, crushing-ass lows, but this is my life. I embrace it.

I say all this to say, again, don’t procrastinate (forever) on the sh-t you want to do.

Though I’ve struggled with writing fiction this year, I’m not going to let it stop me from writing another book. I won’t let my doubts or fears keep me from doing something I absolutely adore and enjoy.

I will beat these fears. And if there’s one thing I know for sure, so will you.

You ready to get to work?

~

p.s. be a dear and buy a book (or tell your homies to buy them), k? Thanks.

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  • http://www.thatmakessense.net/ Pam

    I am so with you! I have procrastinated for I don’t know how long. Within the last two weeks though I have been stepping my game up and writing like crazy, but guess what? My website is down and the web designer I use is swamped so I’m frustrated because I can’t post. It’s like six in one and and half a dozen in the other. UGH!

    On not being enough, boy do I get it! I had to unfollow a bunch of folk I admire because I kept looking at their journey and accomplishments and doubting myself and what I could do. It is hard as hell to watch you and Demetria and Luvvie and not get bummed, but I’m ready to work.

    • BritniDanielle

      Girl, it’s hard for me to watch them too…but they’re the homies. LOL

  • CurvyJones

    When I tried to give up, my book would punch me in the head at 3am. It’s in there. It’ll come out.

  • http://www.akamissi.com/ Iris Kirkland

    I needed to hear this today. Maybe one day I will talk about it. But for now, I will just say Thanks, I needed this.

  • Ronke Ige

    Hey, just to let you know, I’m about to buy one of your books :)

    Keep writing. .. xx

    • BritniDanielle

      I’m super late, but THANK YOU!! Hope you enjoy it!

  • Gilly Frank

    I just started reading your blog a few days ago, and I see so much of my problems as a writer in what you speak about. But I am still trying. I did want to let you know though that thanks to you and your advice, I restarted my blog (which had been spotty and random at best) and I am going on almost two weeks now of constant daily updates, while still trying to work on my novel. So, just wanted to say thanks for the inspiration.