Sometimes we hear something in one context, that has meaning in another. I was in karate class when one of my instructors said, “Stop trying so hard”. He was right. I was the least experienced in the class and was focusing very seriously on not being the slow learner and trying to earn my keep.
I connected this with my writing tonight after reading a comment someone left about me on one of my favorite stories. My best stories, the ones I’ve published, the ones that are getting the personal rejections, are the ones I had the most fun writing. Sitting down and enjoying the characters, enjoying the trouble I’ve thrown at them.
I’m constantly seeking improvement; what to work on next, what to study, etc. While it’s not that I should stop trying to improve, but every now and again, I need to step back and just let it go. This is timely for me, as February was tough on me writing-wise. Life required me to be fully present and not off in Dawnworld creating stories. Little writing done, no editing done. And that’s ok. It had to happen. But I’m pushing to get my schedule back this month, and when I do it, I’m going to start back in with the stories I love.
What about you guys? Do you ever find yourselves trying too hard? Does stepping back work for you?