Forcing Myself to Write

I’m sitting on the couch, staring at an empty screen. I set out to write something—anything. But my mind went blank. All thoughts circled around the idea of watching YouTube videos or perusing the web. Writing was desired but not necessarily expected.

I want to write more. I used to write a ton—books’ worth of content, actually. However, I’ve found myself in a perpetual state of writer’s disdain.

My expectations of writing transformed from self-cleansing to self-importance. Writing used to be my outlet, where the words I wrote didn’t matter to anyone but myself; where I could lay letter after letter without caring how the sentence would end. Then writing became work. I wrote novels, and I wrote them expecting publication (which never happened). What once was a creative exercise turned into a greedy desire to make money.

There’s nothing wrong with making money from writing. Parts of me still long for that distant dream—the dream of being a well-known author whose ideas have shifted cultures and inspired millions. But when that becomes your sole reason for writing—to attain that dream—that’s when you realize writing isn’t so much fun.

I stopped writing for nearly three years after my last novel. Thinking about writing hurt my brain. All that work seemed like a waste, an opportunity cost of unknowable totals.

It’s taken me those three years to understand that I need to write. Writing is an expression that must be released just as much as any other emotion. You can’t keep it bottled up.

That’s why I’m forcing myself to write tonight. For too long I let laziness pull me back away from the page. I need to embrace writing and enjoy it for what it is: my outlet. There’s no fame to be achieved, no money to grab after. These words I’m putting down are for myself, and they’re for anyone else who needs a little inspiration.

So I’m forcing myself to keep writing until that force becomes, as it used to be, a momentum that drives itself.

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