Forget Your Writing Plans… Sometimes

Recently I made a list of blog posts I could write for an unnamed, so far non-existent blog. Just a project I’m playing with in my head for now. But I needed to make a goal for myself so the whole thing doesn’t just fade into oblivion after a week or two.

The goal was to write ten blog posts in two weeks. That’s attainable. That way I’ll figure out if I can write enough about the chosen topics for the blog, and whether I’ll find it inspiring to write about.

I made the list a couple of days ago. Today I sat down to get started on the first post, browsing the list for the most appealing idea. Nothing stood out. I’d been excited about them when I wrote them down, but today, nothing.

I sat there, staring at my laptop. Something had to pop out if I just read the list enough times.

Nope. Nada. I didn’t want to write about any of those things today.

A little bummed, I began wondering if this blog was really going to happen after all. What if I can’t keep up my enthusiasm for an idea for more than a day or two?

Then I perked up at a sudden thought:

Wait, what do I want to write about? It doesn’t have to be those topics!

I was so locked into the idea of writing about these specific ideas that I forgot that I could write about anything else. Of course there are other things I want to write about. Something is always happening specific to this day or moment that I care more about than pre-made ideas. How did I forget that?

That’s exactly how this post came into being. Right now, this was more relevant to my experience than anything else. And that’s fine. It’s okay to not always know beforehand what you want to say. It’s okay to discover something new while you’re waiting for other words to come.

I’m a notorious planner and worrier, always on the lookout for ways to organise things even better. I always want to know what I’m going to do and how I’m going to do it. That doesn’t necessarily tie in well with the spontaneous, impulsive exercise writing sometimes has to be.

Sometimes you need to let go of control to let yourself say what’s most authentic to you in this moment.

Having to let go and write something unplanned made me fear that I won’t attain my writing goals. As I said, I’m a worrier. But I choose to look at it this way:

You can’t always control what it is you need to write. Sometimes it’ll break with your plans and goals. But: The overarching plan is always to write. So do that. Let that be okay. The will to write what you planned will come, and if it doesn’t, maybe you need to adjust your plans. Tweak the angles, choose a new topic, break it into smaller steps. Or motivate yourself and find the inspiration you need.

But for now, just be happy that the words are coming. Even thought they’re not the words you planned.

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