Writing: Our Beloved Burden

A friend recently rededicated herself to writing. She’s been a prolific blogger for many years, but now she’s ready to tackle other projects.

Using a website called 750 Words, she set that as her daily word count goal. Here’s how the site’s founder describes this goal, which she first read about in the book The Artist’s Way:

Morning pages are three pages of writing done every day…The idea is that if you can get in the habit of writing three pages a day, that it will help clear your mind and get the ideas flowing for the rest of the day. Unlike many of the other exercises in that book, I found that this one actually worked.

In standard manuscript format, one page averages about 250 words, hence the 750-word goal per day. I don’t use this site myself because my daily word count goal is usually 500-600 words, depending on my monthly goal and how far behind I am.

But my friend has been on a real streak with this site, and it’s tempting to up my game to see if I could keep up with her.

The other day, she looked at her workload and posted a status on Facebook that she was stressed out about whether she would be able to carve out any writing time that day.

Another friend of hers said something like, “If it’s such a burden, don’t do it.”

Clearly, not a writer.

I said what I often say to writers. To make time for writing, you have to give something else up.

My friend used her lunch hour and some break time and exceeded her goal. She also gently explained to the nonwriter that this isn’t a burden. The stress came not from feeling burdened by a task, but by the threat that circumstances would prevent her from doing the thing she most wanted to do.

That’s our burden as writers. Sometimes, like when I have to write a fight scene (books three and four are gonna be nightmares), it is a burden. But it’s one we have gladly taken on. Because it’s what makes us who we are. Writers.

About Kristen Stieffel

Kristen Stieffel is a writer and freelance editor specializing in speculative fiction. She's a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, Christian Editor Connection, and American Christian Fiction Writers.

3 comments on “Writing: Our Beloved Burden

  1. You know, I have said (here and elsewhere) about what may redirect one’s service to God and man as a writer. That issue certainly continues to come to the fore for me. But in the end, I’m a writer because I can be nothing else. Writing is what I love most and do best, way ahead of whatever’s in second place. That logical engine in the back of my mind (what I sometimes call wryly insulting and perfectly true names like “the squirrel in the cage”, “the 36-place abacus”, “the millstones”, and what have you 🙂 ) just keeps on generating ideas and demanding I find a right use for them.

    To such a one, writing can never be a burden, no more than chocolate is a burden for me. I like writing and I like chocolate, with much the same force as “I like to breathe”. 😀

  2. Thanks for sharing this. It is so true. The angst about writing comes not from the writing itself, which is such a deep satisfaction for those of us who write, but it is always the time factor. I totally agree that we must make the time to be writers, while giving up some other not so important things in our lives.

  3. […] why I tried out the writing site 750 Words. A friend of mine uses it, and I enjoy seeing her Facebook posts showing how many days in a row she’s written and her […]

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