I know you’ve seen it. That picturesque photo with a laptop and the perfect mug full of your favorite hot beverage. Or the perfect home office with a clean, organized desk and floor to ceiling shelves brimming with books.
And if you are like me, you tell yourself that’s the writing lifestyle you want. That’s the writing lifestyle you need.
But is it realistic?
Most of those photos use filters and crop out any undesirable clutter. They are the exception, not the norm. They don’t represent the day to day lifestyle of the average writer.
Instead of chasing an unrealistic writing lifestyle, I’m calling myself an imperfect writer.
You can too.
Bold Confessions of An Imperfect Writer
My History as an Imperfet Writer
I’ve never been a perfect writer. You know, the one that was published before they graduated high school. The one that won tons of writing contests. Was published in the local newspaper. The kid that read a million books each summer. As much as I wanted any or all of those things to happen, they never did. I didn’t write consistently. But that doesn’t change the fact that I’ve always been a writer. Ever since first grade, I’ve been writing.
It started with stories in my head. Then stories that I’d write by hand or type on my families now-ancient computer.
But here is a fun secret.
I didn’t finish a first draft of any story until I was in my late 20s. I’m not published yet. But I will be. I didn’t start taking my writing seriously until 2017.
But I’m more consistent than I’ve ever been. But that doesn’t mean I write every day, either. I still have days where I don’t write because I push it off or life seems to get in the way. I still have days when I choose not to write. I curl up and read a book or binge-watch my latest show.
I’m an imperfect writer.
And I’m okay with that.
Why I’m Allowing Myself to be an Imperfect Writer
I’ve never been the writer I thought I was supposed to be. For years I struggled with the fact that I wasn’t published in my local or school newspaper. That I didn’t join yearbook in high school. I missed so many opportunities. Who was I to call myself a writer?
And now, I don’t listen to classical music and type away best-selling novels. I don’t get to drink coffee out of gorgeous mugs and stare aimlessly out of a window that offers a breathtaking vista. I don’t lounge on the perfect sofa with plush pillows.
I struggle to keep my desk clean. My writing environment is good, but sometimes less than ideal. I have quotes and knick-knacks that inspire me. I write best with absolute quiet but that is hard to find with a 10-month-old!
And it’s only recently that I’ve come to terms with that. Or rather, that I’m coming to terms with it. Because it is a big realization to take in. For the longest time, I’ve thought I had to live up to a certain writing life that realistically IS NOT ATTAINABLE.
What a liberating thought that has been!
I can be an imperfect writer. I don’t have to compete with the writing lifestyles of anyone else. My life as a writer is unique. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing. It’s something, and it’s mine.
So join me each Friday as I share an honest update on how imperfect my writing week has been. I’ll share success when I have them, but failures too. It will be the good and the bad. The pretty and the ugly. I realistic look into what an average writer goes through.
I’ll also be posting on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #ImperfectWriter.