by Erin Harvey, Junior Editor and Junior Co-editor for Drama jaBlog!
Life as a young adult is busy; hectic, perhaps, is a more suitable word, and writing can easily slip into the foggy confusion of the modern world. Between school, beginning to search for a proper college, and a newly-revived social life, writing slipped to the back-burner of my priorities.
Sometimes it’s hard to put pen to paper and slow the world down for a moment when we exist in such a rapidly-progressing universe.
Recently, I have become aware of my lack of commitment to the craft. This slipping of my passion and loss of my safe haven opened my mind to a variety of ideas, which led to a revival of my love of writing.
As young writers––or artists of any age, truly––a sense of doubt in our work is common. A recent, crippling self-doubt shadowed my work. I hadn’t made any true achievements in months. I hadn’t placed in, much less won, a contest recently. Reviews of my work were anything but positive. So I decided to take a break from my novel for a few days.
Those days evolved into weeks, and later months, and disappointment consumed me each time I glanced at my unopened Word document.
Instead of overcoming my doubts as I had in the past, I let the problem fester. I turned my attention to editing the work of others. I focused on school.
And there my writing sat.
But here I am, writing this article. Despite my regret, a lesson came out of my time in isolation. It is fair, I believe, to consider it to be the lesson which got me back to writing and saved my personal writing career.
Writing, regardless of the target audience, is meant purely for the pleasure of the author.
If you don’t enjoy what you’re working on, it’s okay to take a break. Experiencing life only enhances the quality of your writing. Keeping track of these experiences in a journal, as I began to do, improves writing quality and can also lead to a renewed interest in the craft. What you are working on should please you before anyone else. I lost interest because I was writing to be the best, not to be happy.