I’m Tired of Writing What I “Should” Write
This is more or less a stream-of-consciousness piece; lightly edited to make sense, but otherwise pretty raw.
I’m supposed to be writing an emotionally draining piece that has been weighing on me for months. Nearly a year, actually. I wrote part one late in 2019 and it’s a fairly popular piece. I’ve known since then that I would need to tell the whole story, especially since there are plot twists you wouldn’t see coming just reading that first chapter. It didn’t end the way I had hoped, but the story needs told. Maybe that’s why the story needs told.
It’s draining though. Not just this one piece I’m trying to write either.
It all wearies me, this writing what I “should” instead of writing for the sake of feeling words flow out of my fingers into elegant prose and enlightening poetry.
That’s why we started our Firehawk Writer program. That’s why we do what we do: to help people stop grinding away at writing what everyone else thinks they should write and instead fly free, writing what they were meant to write.
Writing what we were meant to write.
I’m a Firehawk too. I helped create this program for myself. Funny how hard it is to take our own advice…
I made writing a job. I’ve made writing a job over and over and over again, even when it wasn’t paying the bills, because the draining part is a lot less about whether or not what I’m writing is profitable and a lot more about whether or not what I’m writing is something I’m excited to share.
The piece I’ve been struggling against this afternoon is something I need to share. It’s something I even want to share. But I’m realizing that it’s draining because it’s not something I’m excited to share.
It was supposed to be a story of triumph. I wanted to tell the world how I fought and won and I wanted to tell everyone about who helped me to do it. I wanted to celebrate the creators of the program that brought me success—that’s what I had in mind when I promised to be their next powerful case study.
I will be their next powerful case study.
The problem is, instead of a story of winning with their help it’s the story of how they failed me.
If it were only me I could understand that. Maybe I’d even talk myself out of writing this case study and slip the story behind me quietly. Not everything is for everybody after all. Maybe this program just wasn’t for me.
But I wasn’t the only one.
There were others, too many for me to be a fluke. I won’t tell their stories because they aren’t mine to tell, but I will tell mine.
The story is full of lessons to be learned—valuable lessons. Lessons I hope others will learn through the reading of my story instead of going through it all themselves.
I didn’t learn all these lessons through the making of mistakes either! This story is full of wins even if the ultimate verdict on the whole experience is “not recommended” and “do not try this at home.”
I could say more…but that is what I am writing the story for. So I suppose I will return to that so that you can read the whole story sooner than later…
Writing what I “should” write ad nauseam has made me feel burnt out on writing on the whole. I come to my keyboard trepidatious. Even picking up my pen to write in my journal feels heavy. The “should” part seeps from my work into what should be pleasurable, coloring everything a sort of dull beige.
Until I shove it all aside in a burst of passion and just write — not because I should but because I want to.
And I find it brings life. I find how vital it is to write what I want to. I realize that the pressure of others’ expectations on my voice squeezes my throat and my hands. It makes me insecure, depressed and judgemental of my writing. Judgemental of myself.
If I don’t keep writing about me, my dreams, goals, and wishes, the life drains out of me so I choose to stop dodging what I want to write, even when I have other obligations.
It’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity.
And you know? Now that I’ve spilled out what I wanted to write I want to write what I “should” write.