Monday, December 12, 2011

The Quest to Just Write (Anna Staniszewski)

I'm so excited to be doing my first post here at YA Outside the Lines! Nothing makes me happier than being surrounded by fellow authors. *grins*

When I was thinking about my main writing goal for 2012, I realized it could be summed up in two words: Just write.

Over the past few years, as I've gone through querying, signing with an agent, getting a book contract, and seeing my book in print, I've found that I've been putting more and more pressure on my writing. When I sit down to write, I can hear a "List of Musts" in my head: It must be good and publishable and unique, etc etc etc. Having all those demands poking at my brain can be paralyzing!

When I start to panic, I think back to when I first started writing My Very UnFairy Tale Life. This was the fun project I would work on to get away from other manuscripts that were dragging me down. The List of Musts wasn't in my head because all I cared about was making myself laugh. And funnily enough, that's the project that wound up getting published. Who knew taking the pressure off your writing could be so beneficial?

Ultimately, that's my goal for 2012. To stop putting so much pressure on myself. To write not because it's my job but because I enjoy it. Even if I spend months working on something that will never be in print, it won't be a waste of time. How could it be when I love to write? I'm going to enjoy the process, enjoy the freedom of being creative, and try my darndest to quiet that List of Musts.

What are your 2012 writing goals? Anyone else planning to join me in the quest to Just Write?


  1. I think my writing goals for 2012 are pretty much the same as yours--to remember why I fell in love with writing in the first place and just have fun. :)

  2. YES!!!!! I have the exact same goal!!!! I know exactly how you feel, Anna!

  3. That was very helpful. My current project is my "what the hell this is really fun" book and I was feeling guilty about some of the others that are languishing...but no more! Just write. You inspired me to continue.

  4. I like this, Anna! Just write. I am in on that!

  5. Ah, yes, add me to the "Just write!" list! I've been thinking the very same thing. I just want to write without the stress of that inner voice sabotaging me at every turn. I want to write for the fun of it without the intent of "publication" as a final goal. Great advice, Anna! ~ Gisele :)

  6. Yay, so glad we have a little "Just Write" crew! Onward, everyone!

  7. Yes! I'm totally with you! And welcome to the blog :D