Don't Start a War with Meaning
Writing can’t be forced, and it definitely can’t be strangled out of you. You can force yourself to sit down, put a pen or pencil in your hand, and put words on a page, but that’s different than writing. There are times when you do just need to put words on a page, but then there are moments when something meaningful wants to be said, and that’s when the writer loses themselves. They aren’t a writer, they aren’t a person, they’re the tunnel that imagination and meaning travel through and onto the page, so that it reaches others. In my writing, I hope to have beautiful sentences, yes, but I hope that my “beautiful sentences” have substance in meaning, not just fluffed vocabulary and description, but meaning.
When I write, I sit down, lose myself, and let whatever comes out come out. I don’t overthink it, I don’t force it, and I don’t second guess it. I let it do what it wants. After the first draft, I walk away. I don’t look at it for a few days, I let it sit and set.
Then, I come back, and rewrite the entire thing. Some sentences are word for word, some are completely different, and some are expansions of ideas that peaked through. After that, I let a day go by before coming back and doing it again. I do it many times, and many times I may not feel it’s perfect, but it’s good enough. I know I’m the most critical of my writing, but through experience, I’ve realized that being overcritical was my greatest downfall as a writer.
With this, I care, but I have to separate myself from the story, and let the meaning of the story be the editor.