Hi. I'm Jenna McGuiggan.
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I Don't Need to Take my Writing More Seriously

I'm writing a book. It's a collection of essays. Or it's a lyric narrative (a lyrrative!). Or something. Yes, I'm writing something. I'm writing some things. Well, I have written some things, maybe that's the better way to put it. I haven't been writing many of these things lately. I've been stymied for a long time about where the book/collection/thing is going, what I want it to be, what it wants to be. I'm sad about this. I'm frustrated and more than a little bit angry at myself. I'm also baffled; I still don't know exactly why it's so hard to make a priority of the work I love.

Last night I went to bed determined to make a change. I woke up this morning, tired and grim with determination. I told my journal pages (where I still manage to write some things some times) that I was ready to take writing more seriously. Immediately I realized that's not what I need. Dear goodness, I prayed, don't let me take my writing any more seriously than I already do!

I don't need to take my writing more seriously.

I don't need to buckle down.

I don't need to try harder.

I don't need to be more committed.


I need to take writing less seriously. 

I need to write more often and with less fear.

I need enthusiasm, not discipline.

I need to be freer on the page and more forgiving of myself.

I need to stop worrying about getting it right.

I need to stop trying to be epic.

I need to keep learning to write badly.

I need to start having fun.

I need to play.

Reader Comments (6)

play. play. play.
July 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkelly barton
This EXACTLY what I needed to hear today.
Thank you so much.
I consider you a genius. :-)
July 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKat
Oh Lordy, Miss Punchberry! You just say the darnedest things - :0)
July 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKimberley McGill
Oh how Ioved this post today! Your words continue to inspire me all the time. I love what you said about writing with enthusiasm, not discipline! That is a wonderful way to look at writing. Can't wait to have that new book of yours in my hands one day. Sending you peace and happy writing this week!
July 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDonna Wynn
YES please. And thank you. Seriously (or not so much), thanks for this reminder. It's so easy to slip into grim determination--because what we do is so very important to us . . . but then we lose the grace and flow and perfectly imperfect parts of ourselves, which are often so much more interesting. Love this! PS: If you ever want a place to showcase your not-so-serious, epically-awesome-without-being-epic writing, please feel free to submit to my magazine. You'll find guidelines at the site. Glancing over at your affiliate links--I've featured Vivienne and Kelly Barton and am about to interview Liz Lamoreux . . . good company, indeed.
July 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda Fall
Yes, yes, yes ... I think that is the biggest problem with we writers ... we put so much pressure on ourselves, too much, and we forget the reason why we love writing ... because we love it. Sometimes we focus too much on the hard work and not enough on the fun of it.

Playing is key and I think we often forget that!

Thanks for sharing - just found your blog:)
July 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

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