Are you new here? If you are, welcome. If you’re not, welcome back.
Depending on how you answered that question, you may know that I publish a new article every Sunday.
Yes, every single Sunday since February 2020.
- The beginning of my weekly publishing marks the end of B.C. times (Before Corona). I think I wrote the first article, then next week we were in quarantine.
Yet, I didn’t take this coincidence as a sign to stop, which is quite fascinating considering how superstitious I can get. I didn’t quit, which is fascinating considering we were in the middle of a deadly pandemic.
Like many other writers, I’ve also written about writing extensively.
I’ve dedicated an entire category to it; the description reads: “Words. My one true love. Writing on writing. Everything is meta.”
I’ve written about:
- why I started writing every day
- why I stopped
- how I built a writing routine (no captain obvious tips!!)
- what I learned during the one year I wrote every Sunday
- how writing is like love (in a non-cringey way if I do say so myself)
- why editing my writing took me a year
- why people don’t read what you write
- people who hate my articles.
I even wrote How to “Just Write”.
What haven’t I written about writing?
Well, that there’s something inherently sad about writing something new each week.
“Delfina, but why? What’s sad about it?”
“Are you sad at the thought of no one reading it?“
No, because somehow the stars aligned so beautifully for me that I’m at this wonderful point where I KNOW that I’ll have at least one person (let’s say 2-5 people) who will read my stuff, no matter what.
If 1 or 2 or 5 people seem trivial to you, I’ll go out on a limb and say there lies the difference between those who are writers and creators and those who want to be. I kid you not, one single person makes a world of difference.
“What’s sad about it, then? Is the thought of people stealing your ideas inherently sad?“
No. I’ve internalized everything I read in Steal Like An Artist.
“Equal parts manifesto and how-to, Steal Like An Artist aims to introduce readers to the idea that all creative work is iterative, no idea is original and all creators and their output are a sum of inspirations and heroes…”Forbes
Over 500K copies in print, translated into 27+ languages, highly recommended.
I don’t get too hung up about concepts like “originality” because what is the fucking point, am I right?!
If I have it in me, I’ll do something else just as great and probably better. If you “stole” it from me, time will tell. All is well.
This obviously doesn’t apply to the Bad Art Friend story.
You know, I just realized I don’t want to give other hypothetical examples.
There’s something inherently sad about writing an article every week because…
While doing something frequently increases the chances of you becoming better at it, it also massively increases the likelihood that some of the times you’ll do the thing will suck, big time.
Think of the wine grape harvest.
I’m not a grape (sounds like something a grape would say), but I can imagine how frustrating it can be when you’re minding your business and trying your hardest to hear people whisper about how you were “drier, less ripe, and had higher levels of acidity than last year.”
Okay, grapes can’t hear or think. Let me make a point, will ya? What are you, the grape police?!
“A warm dry winter confuses the vine and it begins to believe it is time to break and bloom. This is a concern for any winemaker; if the vine decides to break during this time it is now in a vulnerable position. The buds have been released from their protective covering and are susceptible to anything Mother Nature throws.”
– Rain (Or lack of) Effect on vineyards, Westleigh Emord for California Wine Club
Grape harvest season is in August–October for the Northern Hemisphere and February–April for the Southern Hemisphere.
It’s once a year. There’s a specific timeline and outcome expected.
See how it’s similar to writing an article every week?
If harvest season was based solely on how the grapes were feeling,– okay, okay. I’ll stop with the grape references.
If I would only write articles when I felt like it, this inherent sadness would fade away. I would “simply” publish only when I was 100% content with what I’d written. But with no time limits or rules, some procrastination, and lots of perfectionism, my actual writing would also fade away.
I’d write like 2 articles a year.
Having to face the fact that something you wrote sucks is difficult enough. Throw in the weekly deadline, and you’re in for a wiiild ride.
Every article I publish might be the first one someone reads on my site. Depending on what I cooked up, it may be the last.
Time and attention are limited resources.
There’s this inherent gloom about having the possibility of failing show up like clockwork every week.
But I’m trying to worry only about the things I can control. I wrote about this (of course I did) in I was wrong, so now I’m writing about Stoicism at 3:17 AM and What to do when everything’s fucked.
You know the articles about writing that I mentioned at the beginning of this article? Well, I started reading one of them.
I found myself chuckling throughout, getting emotional thinking, “I’ve written this?! I had these thoughts in my brain and put them on the page in a way that makes me (and others) feel something?!”
- The fact that I can say “I’ve written about _____” about so many topics brings me immeasurable joy.
Sure, some of my articles will collect online dust and fade into irrelevance & insignificance.
Some people will always find it hard to like my writing and resonate with it, no matter what I’ve written or whether I’ve given the piece my all.
But that joy beats this feeling of impending doom that surrounds the “Publish” button weekly by a long shot.
Let them eat cake. Aka, let the inherent gloom stay. It’s all worth it.