It just makes sense: we’d rather spend time with those people who love and support us than those that nag and belittle us.
But we often don’t think of our relationship with our writing in that way. So often when we have a writing project in progress, or even just in mind, we are hard on ourselves if we aren’t committing the time that it needs to get done. We feel guilty. We kick ourselves.
In essence, we are creating a relationship in which our poems/essays/stories/plays are nagging and whining for us to pay attention to them. And who wants to hang out with something like that?
Wouldn’t you be more likely to respond to an entreaty or seduction? My workshop participants who needed a little motivation signed up for a mid-week “kick in the ass” email. This is what they got instead:
This is your story talking. You need to be typing, dude. Typing: that’s it. I’m already in progress in your hand-written notes. All you have to do now is type me up. I will develop later; trust me. I can’t wait to be in the world. Thanks for believing in me.
I’m really excited about existing in the world. I know that I’m going to be dynamic and likeable because I’ll take after you — it may just take me a little bit of time to get things right.
But have faith in me because I have faith in you. Just push me into the world a little at a time: other people are looking forward to meeting me!
I know that I’d rather spend time with someone who spoke to me with love and eagerness than hang out with someone who expressed shame and disappointment in me, so this is the relationship I’m going to nurture with my writing. I hope you and your writing will be very happy together, too. ♥