Hello, loves! This post is one that I’m curious to see what everyone else thinks, as I feel like I’m on the fence about it. It’s about how I consider counting writing. Or, in other words, how my brain processes what I consider to be writing and what I don’t, and if I’m doing myself a disservice by how I currently think.
Confused? Don’t worry, me too. Let’s see if we can figure it out!
As Always, The Context
I think we’re all familiar that I consider myself a writer, yes? To the point where I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. Obviously, writing stories translated to writing in other ways, too. Like majoring in English and writing numerous papers throughout my college (and now post grad) careers. Or this blog, for example, writing 2-3 posts per week every month. Creating a newsletter that I’m in the process of resurrecting. Don’t forget the day to day, like: writing emails for work, texts, social media posts, etc.
Obviously, writing is in my blood and something I do on the daily. So, why is counting writing as something I accomplish so rare?
You see, if you follow my Novels and Narrations series at all, that’s where I update you on how my writing is going. Mainly, my novels. Yet, in many of my most recent musing, I complain about how I’m “not writing” as much as I want to, if “at all”. Yet a friend pointed out to me on our phone call the other day that, to them, I am a powerhouse. I’m creating and posting content on this blog all of the time. How can I complain about not writing?
For me, the distinction (unconsciously, I realized) was that, when counting writing, I don’t consider anything but my novels. Despite the fact that I’ve written almost 15,500 words from the past two months of blogging alone. Or that, over the summer, I’ve written almost 5,000 words (14 pages) of research notes for my novel. I can’t even imagine the number when you include word counts from other examples above.
So why is it that I never count anything as writing if it’s not words on the page of a novel?
Counting Writing: The Verdict
Honestly? I think it’s because, for me, I’m playing too much of a comparison game with my past self. My brain remembers my past output. It knows that I used to write new words within my books regularly. (I mean, hell, how else do you get nine books written?) So, when I’m actively not writing new words on the page of my novels, it automatically considers it as not writing. Because the writing I am doing isn’t furthering my novel, according to my unconscoius.
Now, is this a fair assumption? Because the research notes I’ve read and recorded are to help me with the next round of edits. The book reviews I write help me evaluate books within my field, which will help me evaluate my own. Through blogging consistently, I prove to myself I can keep up a writing routine. So, it is fair that I don’t consider myself writing when I’m not actively working on my novels?
Personally, I’m still undecided, but thinking about this head on has given me a lot of food for thought. But what about you? Do you think the strict (albeit unconscious) parameters my brain has set for counting writing makes sense? Should I be kinder to myself? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Lay @ bookshelfsoliloquies says
I think you should absolutely be kinder to yourself but then again, I’m currently not taking my own advice either. I’ve struggled to work on my novels and pretty much the only writing (that my brain “counts”) I’ve done this year has been 5k words of an unfinished fanfiction. I often feel like an imposter when I call myself a writer but rationally, I know that’s not true! I am a writer, no matter how much visible progress I make on any of my projects. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, this has been a much needed reminder 💜
I feel like a general piece of advice could be “be kinder to yourself” and it could be universally applied (which is so sad). I’m so sorry you connect with this and hope we can BOTH be kinder. I am so glad this reminder helped you remember you are very much a writer. ❤
K.M. Allan says
Definitely be kinder to yourself. Blog posts and book reviews all count as a form of writing. I do totally get what you’re saying about feeling like not working on your books means you aren’t “writing” though. I’ve felt like that in the past too. Now, I just do the best I can, and divide my book writing into one week, and my blog writing into another so it feels like I’m giving both equal time & making equal progress. Just do what works for you, and cut yourself some slack 😊.
Thank you so much, K.M.! I really appreciate you sharing how you balance book writing and blog writing. Perhaps I need to take a look at that approach and see if it works better!
K.M. Allan says
No problem 😊. Best of luck with it!