What It Takes: Independence

Blog Post 62 What It Takes IndependenceWhen you think of a writer, what is the first picture that comes to your mind?  Is it someone who is both writing and talking while doing so?  Or writing amidst a big group?  Probably not.  Your first image might be someone locked away in their study and hunched over their computer, maybe with only a lamp to keep them company.

Writing, for the most part, is a solitary pursuit.  It requires hours in front of a computer or notepad to draft the manuscript.  They pile up into days, weeks, or even months.  If you’re serious about learning and utilizing your craft, you’ll quickly realize that writing requires independence.

Why is independence important?

  • You need to get work done. As a writer, there is no Easy Button. You have to put in the time needed to produce a solid manuscript.
  • You have to believe in yourself. Knowing your path and having confidence in it takes independence from the expectations of others because there will always be someone out there who thinks writing is a mere hobby of yours and not a passion.
  • You need to let yourself be different. Face it. If you write, your mind works in a unique way, from figuring out the best ambush point for a kidnapping to how a leading lady might react to an unexpected kiss. To the rest of the world, these thoughts seem anywhere from eccentric all the way to worrisomeFear not. We writers possess a vivid imagination, and we must employ it in our writing.

How do you maintain the independence needed to accomplish those goals?

  1. Know that you have the gift. God has given you the beautiful gift of writing. When someone suggests that you are only “playing at” writing, remember that it’s much more than a simple hobby. It’s a talent to be utilized to its fullest extent.
  2. Be deliberate. I’ve written a little throughout this series about finding the time to write, so I won’t elaborate more on that. The main thing is that it takes independence to find that time and use it. Keep focused, and gently let people know that Time A to Z is your time to write. Ask that they respect that time. Then stick to it.
  3. Make your own road. In our society, it’s easy to go with the flow, to do what the crowd is doing. As a writer, you must maintain that independence to be both an observer and a thinker. Don’t let anyone sway you from charting your own course.
  4. Treasure writing times. I’m an introvert. In other words, I regain energy best by being on my own and writing. There are times, especially after a very busy week, where I live for writing because it enables me to recharge my batteries and face another very busy day. When you get the time to write, make the most by actually writing rather than going onto the Internet—unless you’re doing research.
  5. Remember to socialize. For all of this talk about independence, it may seem strange to end this post with the idea of being with others. I put it in there because for extroverts, writing can be extremely difficult, and they recharge by being with others. For us introverts, while it may seem easier to remain by ourselves with only the computer for company, we need to at least touch base with family and friends because they love us and care for us. Insisting on closeting ourselves away with our laptops to write all of the time can build up resentment. Keep others in mind as you practice your craft.

Independence is a necessary trait for writers.  It enables us to get what we need to do done, but taken too far, it can hinder the rest of our lives.  Keep in mind that others love you, and balance your independence to accomplish your work with friends and family.

It’s hard to believe this blog series is over.  In July, look forward to a short series called What I’m Reading.

This post does not mention any products.  Therefore, I am not receiving any compensation for writing this post.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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1 Comment

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  1. Alice says:

    Thanks for the post, Jen! I look forward to what you have to share in July.