Do What You Want

do what you want

I’m standing at my kitchen counter writing to this as I listen to music and I realised just how freeing it is to do what you want. Do you hear that?

To. Do. What. I. Want.

I spent the day browsing the net before I settled on listening to random YouTube music from 7 or so years ago. Music was great then, music now is good too, but it was great back then. It brings me back to my days fresh out of high school where I had no idea what I wanted to do. I always thought that I could see myself in a high paying job doing something like practicing psychology or helping people in social work but life wouldn’t be fun. It would be boring, monotonous and it wouldn’t have what keeps me grounded. It wouldn’t allowed me to write.

I remember the day that I decided I was going to be keep on going with my writing. I had been accepted into a social work degree but I wasn’t sure what if that was what I wanted to do. But I knew that I had a novel. It was burning a fire inside me and I didn’t care if I never made money from it, I needed to get it out onto paper.

It’s been a baby to me, I’ve been playing around with it for something like 14 years. It’s been a long time in the making and now that it’s all down and I’m waiting, avid impatiently, for feedback from my beta readers I’m staring at it and I know that I hate it. I hate it because I’ve stared at it for so long but I know, deep down in my gut, that it’s amazing. It could change someone’s life, it could help that kid that was bullied and put through hell because they have somewhere to escape.

They have a world to escape to that isn’t perfect and doesn’t have all the answers but they can insert themselves and converse with the characters that I so very dearly love. What better high is there?

Writing brings me joy. It’s what gives me the freedom to dance around my apartment as I update a blackboard with a fresh scene that makes me shiver because I can see the look on Travis’s face as he pulls Lucy closer because she knows something isn’t right. It’s what gives me the freedom to watch the TV shows and go, yes, I can see those characters being in my life. It gives me the freedom to sit down and write a coaching program that I know someone will find useful because it’s me. It’s what I do.

Writing is my thing.

I admit it, my spelling isn’t perfect and neither is my grammar (I try my best with that latter) but that makes me the writer I am. No one is perfect and I can’t claim that in the least, I don’t want to claim that.

[Tweet “I find I am the perfect writer inside imperfections of writing.”]

Through the messy rewrites that smooth out the kinks and sharpen my prose. I am my writing and yes, there will be people who dislike it, there are even those who I know will put it down, but you know what? That’s their problem, if they think they can do better, they should do it. Stop talking about it, get it down on paper and try your hand at writing a novel, a short story, a blog post. You’ll find that it’ll start out easy but the staying power of it isn’t all that easy. You have to make sure that you have every detail correct because readers will remember when you make a mistake, even if it’s an innocent mistake.

Readers are our biggest critics but if you write for them…then you’re writing for the wrong person. You’re writing to try and please someone and you shouldn’t.

Do you read to make others happy? Do you ride your bike or drive your car to please others? No. Then why are you writing with someone in mind? The only person you should be writing for is yourself. You shouldn’t be writing for the sake of someone reading your words. I learned a long time ago that it was time to let go of expectations. I write this blog knowing that no one will read it, they won’t comment because it surprises me when I find that people have. I’ve had friends from when I lived on res and worked with in the past say that they read it and enjoy catching up with what I’ve been doing. It surprised me, because I’m writing what I love, I’m doing what I love and even though I’m writing while still working part time in a job that I tolerate. I find these moments are what I live for.

So tell me, are you doing something you love? If you’re not, stop right now and go and do it. Turn around and kiss your boyfriend/girlfriend, tell them you love them, take a shot of tequila if that’s your poison, but do something you fucking love and do it without feeling bad because life is too short to be bitter about the things you didn’t do that you loved.

PS Watch out for my bloghearted bundle this weekend. If you’re signed up to my newsletter you already know what it is!

Mandi is a writer, reader, dreamer and is breaking procrastinating inner editors, one at a time.

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