Welcome to the first official post in the Confessions of an Imperfect Writer series. Last week wasn’t my best week. But I let myself be okay with that. I’m an imperfect writer, and I needed to give myself permission not to write much last week.
It was such a relief not to feel like I had to expect so much of myself. I didn’t worry about whether or not I’m truly a writer just because I wasn’t able to write as much as I wished I could have. I know I’m a writer. I’m just an imperfect one. And although I didn’t write much, I was able to join a critique group.
Confessions of an Imperfect Writer: Join a Critique Group
Summary of My Week
I think I wrote once last week, and it wasn’t until Wednesday or Thursday that I found the time. I had a lot of errands to run, and some emotional struggles kept me away from my writing. It was a week of self-care and sometimes those are necessary. Had I tried to write, it wouldn’t have been very effective. The one day I wrote was not productive. I was hardly able to get anything done. Choosing to make it a week to recharge was a good decision and I know it will help me in the week(s) that follow.
I was only able to write one day last week. And the day I did write, it was a short 5 or 10 minutes. And during that 10 minutes, I didn’t write very many words. I feel like I opened up Scrivener, read a little bit of what I’d written, made some notes of things to revise, maybe wrote a sentence or two and then let my discouragement keep me from doing anything else. It was a pretty bad week as far as actually writing goes.
I was able to reach out in a Facebook Group and join a critique group with three others. It’s a small group and we’ve decided to keep it simple and relaxed. If someone can’t write or has nothing to share, it’s not a problem. We are all busy moms and I think it is going to be a great group to help keep me motivated but I won’t feel pressure or guilt if I’m unable to write.
It took me a while to join a critique group because I didn’t think I had the time. I didn’t want to join a group and be that annoying person who wasn’t actually writing. I was scared people would expect me to offer feedback and I wouldn’t have time. It wasn’t until I realized I could reach out to others in my situation and create a group that worked for me that I was finally able to join a group.
So let go of whatever expectations you have of a proper critique group. If you want to join one, find or create one that fits your needs. Don’t feel like you need to change yourself in order to fit the requirements of a critique group.
Thoughts and Goals
I’m proud of myself for accepting the fact that I wasn’t able to write last week. Yes, I would have liked to write more. But getting down on myself or feeling guilty about it won’t change the fact that I didn’t write. I was able to spend the week resting a bit more, spending time with my son, and running errands and doing house work. I was able to take a mental break from my writing and I feel like this week is going to be much more productive.
I’ve been thinking a lot about motivation and positive-self talk and I’m starting to feel more eager to write. I’m still going to take it small, but I plan to write every day this week. One of my biggest goals is to track my writing time. I want to see where it is going and how much time I am really spending. I think this will help me see that maybe I am doing more than I think. Or, on days and weeks when I am not, it might motivate me to add a bit more time to my record.
How has your writing week been? Good or bad, I hope you are still positive towards yourself. Even if you are an imperfect writer, you still have the right to call yourself a writer.