Outside Influences Should Not Stop You From Writing
If you allow politics, news and general affairs to impinge upon your ability to write, then you’re doing something wrong.
I’m going to talk about why you should probably relax, why I believe the above and how you can get past letting current affairs dictate your productivity.
Oh, and then I’m going to update you on my NaNoWriMo progress, because that’s what I said I’d do on a Friday.
(Guys and girls who are reading this sometime in the distant future; Trump got elected on Tuesday. However, this wisdom applies for any election or news cycle in the future – assuming that the doomsayers online are incorrect. Presumably, if there’s Nuclear Warfare and the literal end of the world as we know it, you won’t be reading this.)
Why Writing Is Awesome
If you’re a professional writer, there are no barriers to entry.
Aside from writing proficiency, all you need is a computer and an internet connection in terms of professional equipment. In terms of ability, you need the aforementioned writing ability and the ability to type.
You can work from anywhere in the world. Any time you want or are available to type, you can do it. Whether you’re a full time worker, an unemployed single mother or a bachelor on a round-the-world gap-year, providing you’ve got a laptop and a few hours a week, you can be a writer.
Elections, Current Affairs, Whatever
As everyone will know, the US election finally happened this week. Spoiler Alert: Trump won.
Half the people who voted didn’t want him to win. The other half did want him to win. It was just like every other election, and this isn’t a politic blog, so we’ll gloss over it.
Just like every other election, there are people who are way too emotionally involved in the outcome.
I know, it’s probably different this time and I’m not an American so I should butt out and mind my own business. I can understand that.
However, there’s something true about this election that’s similar to Brexit, every news event and election ever.
You still have to get on with your life.
Some writers have – since Tuesday – decided that they’ve got massive writer’s blocks due to the election. Some can’t bear the thought of writing because it’s too painful. No doubt some of the protestors currently throwing things on the street are writers or would-be writers too.
This is insane.
Remember; when you’re a writer, there’s you, the keyboard and nothing else.
Check out this:
This guy is 25k words into a half-finished novel.
At the end of the month, his novel will be finished or it won’t. Those are the options.
That’s the case. Forget the President Elect.
Ultimately, if you’re a writer working today, your bills will need paying tomorrow. You’re still as able to pay them with your writing as you’ve ever been.
In fact, there’s a whole world of opportunity that exists in writing, publishing, online business and across all industries that nobody before you has access to.
Even if there’s a really shitty president, there are still more options available to most people than before. As a writer, that means you.
(Just an observation: scary politicians never have quite the negative influence you think they’ll have, superhero politicians never do the great job you think they’re going to do.)
How To Stop Letting Politics Get In The Way Of Your Writing
Normally, I can talk forever about writing stuff. This topic though… I’m drying up at 500 words.
That’s because I hate talking and thinking about politics.
The way to get around this, should political stuff be affecting your work, is to switch the TV off. Stop going on Twitter, and stop caring.
Even if the next President is a superhero, nothing is going to change for the next three months. Even if Trump is a literal supervillain out of a Marvel comic, again, nothing is going to change for months.
Forget the TV. Forget the Internet. Switch it all off and start typing. By the end of November, nothing will have changed in the wider world, but you will have written thousands more words, and probably will have gotten a lot closer to your goals.
This act of getting close to your goals will limit the amount you care about the wider world. Positive achievements make you more resilient and more positive, regardless of anything else that’s going on.
Speaking of personal accomplishments…
NaNoWriMo Update #2
Today’s topic is supposed to be part of the NaNoWriMo Challenge series I’m putting together.
It’s all going well on my end, and I’ve modified y project so that it’s a little different than just writing a novel. Don’t get me wrong, I’m writing a novel, but I’m going to do something interesting with it as well.
I’m at just over 25,000 words – which at the current page size (part of the interesting spin) is 83 pages.
I anticipate the project doubling to about 186 pages. I’m looking at 60-70k total for the final draft. It’s a bit further back than I’d like, but I’ve done all the planning so I’m moving downhill at last.
(Also, 25k in a week isn’t bad by regular writer standards. I’d anticipate that 25k has taken me around 15-18 hours so far. It just goes to show that writing a novel a year isn’t the be-all-and-end-all of authorship.)
So in summary, NaNoWriMo is going well for me.
There’s no reason it shouldn’t go well for you too. Obviously, if you have personal issues, then they’ll get in the way. Sometimes life does get in the way of writing and business. That’s fine and to be expected.
Global issues though are something else – they’re not something that directly affects your ability to sit down and write. (Obviously there are caveats here – don’t bite my head off.)
If you’re worried about the impending apocalypse, sit back, think, “Well, it’s probably not going to happen in the next three weeks” and then get on with whatever projects you’re currently working on.
Chances are, in a few weeks’ time, you’ll have completed your projects and the world won’t have ended. In fact, you’ll feel great and be better off than you were before.