There’s just no getting around it.
To write, you must kill.
You must drown your distractions. You must murder your inner critic. You must assassinate characters that no longer serve you.
For writing to emerge, something else in your life must die.
Maybe that’s why it’s so hard to sit your ass in the chair and do the damn thing, because we’re taught that killing things is bad.
We’re expected to stay up-to-date on everything, from politics to pop culture. We’re required to have perfectly shot Instagram photos to share with our massive, loyal following. We’re constantly told we’re missing out.
Sitting your ass in the chair to write isn’t always fun and it’s often not even productive. It doesn’t help you look cool on social media and there’s no glamour in it. In a world of instant gratification, it’s about the last thing any of us want to do.
Which sucks, because it’s the only thing a writer needs to do.
I’m consistently asked how to be a writer. And people consistently get pissed off at me when I respond simply with “write”.
Everyone wants a guidebook to follow, or a course to take, but really, you just have to give it a try. Yes, classes can help you with craft, but there really is no secret formula, it’s all trial and error and most importantly practice.
And that includes the practice of killing things.
A practice I’ve been avoiding lately.
Instead of journaling, I’ve been spending my mornings scrolling through Facebook feeds. Instead of writing, I’ve been getting high and watching Netflix. I have a whole book that’s 99% written except the scene where a character I love has to die.
So I know how hard it is, to kill the things you love, to choose the hard over the easy.
But I also know how gratifying it is to hold your book in your arms for the first time. To feel its pulse. To cry tears of joy, knowing you’d kill a million more things to do that again.
That’s me, after my Bawdy Love: 10 Steps to Profoundly Loving Your Body book signing. I’d dreamt of holding a book I wrote in my hands since I was a child, and on my 33rd birthday that dream came true.
Very few things in life have felt that satisfying.
Nothing on Netflix feels that good. My Facebook feed can’t even come close. Even sex – yes sex! – isn’t that wonderfully fulfilling.
It’s worth killing for.
Which is why today, I’m killing two things.
First, I’m going off of social media.
I’m not sure how long, but at the very least until I finish my next book.
Some people can control their use of social media, ease back a bit, but I’m not one of those people. I just can’t stop scrolling. So, I’m giving my passwords to a friend and she won’t give them back to me until I can produce a finished manuscript.
But don’t worry, we can still keep in touch! I’ll be amping up my blog posts and sending an email out every Wednesday to my mailing list. I’m looking forward to a more conscious and personal connection with you.
Second, I’m going to stop hosting body-positive workshops and retreats so I can focus on helping you write.
I have loved every single moment of working with you to feel more comfortable and confident in your body, but my goal has always been to help amplify marginalized voices.
I wrote Bawdy Love because I saw too many people let body image issues get in their way of telling their true, authentic story. I’m so glad it exists in the world and will continue to promote the book, but my website, workshops, mailing list, courses, and retreats will now focus on helping you discover your story and tell it to the world.
To write, we must kill, and I am cutting these things out of my life to make room for more.
More focused attention on helping you heal through writing.
More moments of pure bliss holding my own books in my hands.
And hopefully, more moments of being there with you when you hold your book in your hands!
What can you kill to make more room in your life? What do you need to let go of so something else can grow?
Let me know in the comments below.