I have been writing, essentially, about how to build a strong, connected relationship with your writing, a writing practice if you will. As I have examined having affairs on your work, and sexual disfunction with your writing relationship (take this figuratively), this entry examines whether you still share the same core values and beliefs with your writing project.
You know how we talk about I would never date a [Republican, Democrat, Gun Owner . . . ]. These boundaries reflect core values and beliefs about ourselves and who we want to spend time with. If you’re in a relationship with someone who all of a sudden became [fill in the blank] and it was contrary to your core values and beliefs, you would have to think through whether you would continue in this relationship.
The same thing can be said about writing. Perhaps when you started your project, you held a particular set of values and beliefs. But as we know, writing projects take loads of time and we change over that time.
When these changes happen and the project does mature along with us, we start to question whether we should be bothered with it. Maybe we believe in a different mode of achieving social change. Maybe our economic values have shifted and this project can’t marry with them. And there are so many other ways these changes can manifest.
What do you do, because it certainly looks like the love has gone.
- Dump the project altogether – you may need to part ways and hope someone else picks it up. The differences may be too big.
- See if you can move the project in a different direction. Maybe the narrative you are writing becomes an object lesson so that it can accommodate who you have become. Maybe it becomes a smaller part of a different larger project. That’s only a couple of suggestions for how you can move the project in a different direction.
But how do you do this, especially if you can’t sort it out all by yourself?
- Bring community around you. Talk to other writers and hear your ideas and thinking aloud.
- Write down (journal) about what are your current core beliefs and values so that you are clear what you’re looking at.
At its core, you must pull other minds in with you.
And if you have to move on to a different project, you won’t be the first.
Unaligned core values and beliefs is not saying the same thing as I’m bored with this project. We all get to this point. That’s when we have to recommit to what brought us to it in the first place, what the world can get out of our work.
Do you still believe in your writing project? Can this relationship be saved? Let me know.
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