Sometimes I sit down at my computer with a whole post or poem or idea planned out from start to finish in my head. Other times, I plonk myself down at my laptop and force myself to write. I’ve read so many conflicting pieces on whether forced writing is a good idea or not so I wanted to weigh in on the argument myself.
Until six months or so I had never forced myself to write anything except for school/university. If the inspiration wasn’t coming I would give up. It wasn’t until I wanted to consciously improve my writing that I even considered forcing myself to write. But when I read about morning pages I thought I would give it a go.
Author, Julia Cameron, states that the best way to get better at writing and to fuel creativity is to wake up every morning and write three pages of stream of consciousness writing. During a rare week off I attempted Julia’s method. In short, it was hell. I had nothing to say. And three pages felt like so much to write. But surely I couldn’t call myself a writer if I couldn’t even fill three pages a day. Once back at placement, I realised that in order to write morning pages I would have to get up at least half an hour earlier and waking up at 5am didn’t really seem ideal to me so I scrapped that idea.
My problem was that I was still writing under the expectation that everything I wrote had to ‘be something’ or be meaningful. I was unable to write morning pages because I thought that I had to have something to say, when in reality the whole point was to help creativity and find ideas.
But writing only when I felt like it wasn’t working for me. I kept getting stuck for ideas and feeling completely void of any creativity. So I decided the best way was to just force myself to write. Whether it’s a blog post that I have the intention of publishing, some rogue ideas that are just a way of getting my thoughts out or a journal entry, I write every day.
At first forcing myself to write felt like a chore but I now firmly believe that creativity breeds creativity. And the more I force myself to write, the more I feel like I have creative ideas, and the more confident I feel putting out my creative content.