New (And Hesitant) Writers: You Can Use ‘Bathroom Writing’ To Better Your Game
No, it is not about writing in the bathroom
Why the word ‘bathroom’?
A bathroom is a place where you are 100% yourself- in every way. Nobody is there to see you, judge you, criticize you, evaluate you, and the best part- reject you.
What a wonderful place to be in! (No doubt, many people spend hours in there.)
Okay, back to the writing arena.
The biggest deterrent for writers is the fear of not looking great.
What if people don’t like it? It is not as nice as other stories. I am not making THAT impact. This story lacks something.
And in the pursuit of perfection, you have a tough time holding on to your dwindling confidence.
Meanwhile, what is happening is that your draft sheet is getting longer and longer as nothing seems good enough to publish.
Now you are stuck in a jam — you are not writing because it is not good enough, and since you are not writing, your writing doesn’t get any better.
Quite clear, you are not benefitting from this vicious cycle.
What to do
At some point, you have to get down and get dirty. There is no running away from that. Wear your gumboots and gloves and get ready to DO IT.
But, I do not have ’n’ number of things to tell you here. Just one —
The only remedy. This is what I call ‘The Bathroom Writing’ — writing without the fear of judgment.
Instead of submitting to publications, publish your stories yourself.
More than seeking validation from others, enjoy the sense of accomplishment.
Why should you do that
NOW I can tell you n number of things why I advocate this to you. Buckle up.
You run the show
When you self-publish, you are the judge and the evaluator. You give the verdict. Yes, it may not look amazing, but that is your creation. Accept it. Embrace the process of getting better each time. And you do get better.
It is not about writing great — it is just the writing that matters most. At least, initially; until you get a grip on it. As I say, write your way to perfection.
You can scratch your a**
You are not writing with an editor sitting in your head, glaring at you, frowning at your work. It takes away the pressure to perform. You are yourself — just like in a bathroom.
I remember when I started writing, I would dive deep into the submission guidelines of the publications. And when I wrote the story, there would be so many things running in my head that I would sometimes lose track of what I actually wanted to say.
Self-publishing gives you the freedom to be yourself.
No bitter pills for you
It saves you the pain of rejection. All said, the taste of being rejected is bitter and stays long.
Rejection has an extremely drastic effect on rookie writers. It may almost kill the spirit. Hence, treading with caution would be a sensible thing to do.
There is one more thing that needs to be said here. Eventually, you have to move into submitting to publications, and there will be rejections. But you would have seasoned a bit by then. You would have developed a system to be more productive about it.
You discover your own voice.
Like any other creative art, writing is a personal art. Every writer has a unique way of communicating, putting across their voice. But you don’t just start writing and find it.
It simmers, and slowly the taste develops.
When you write for yourself, you find that sweet spot where your writing just flows in a streamline.
What happens when you do that
When you write for yourself, you write more often;
And when you write more often, magic happens.
It’s a cycle. When the pressure is off, you write more. Upon writing consistently, you develop a pattern. You become freer with words. Writing becomes like second nature to you.
Another thing that happens is you become more organized — both in your words and thoughts. That would lead to more structured stories. In my case, I could quantify the progress in the time I took to write a story.
Eventually, you will sound more confident in what you write. Dealing with the dreaded writer’s block would become much easier.
I had my share of doubts when I embarked on the writing journey. I know there are so many out there struggling to move forward. The only way you can break free from the chains is to silence all other voices and hear your own voice.
Go to your (bath)room now.
Write. And do it for yourself. Remember- nobody started with a masterpiece. You will stumble some more before you start running. Be unabashed and scream at the top of your voice.