We all have that masterpiece we are particularly proud of. You treat your work as your baby: you’ve poured your blood and sweat into it and nurtured it to completion. But have you ever stopped to think that this mindset could be holding you back from being a better writer?
The truth is, holding on to your work too tightly can become an emotional burden. Detachment is letting go and freeing yourself from the expectation that your work should always be perfect.
Inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, this article will discuss detachment from your writing, the benefits of practicing this outlook, and why your work is not ‘your baby.’ Additionally, we’ll look into how you can detach yourself from your written work and how you can apply this outlook to your creative process.
What is detachment in writing?
It is simply the idea of letting go of your work. It is about freeing yourself from the expectation that your output should be and is perfect. Detachment is the concept of allowing yourself to make mistakes without feeling guilty. It is about letting yourself get creative without worrying about what others think of your work.
When you become emotionally attached to your written work, it can set you back. You put too much pressure on yourself to make your piece a prize-winner, which can lead to feelings of stress and anxiety. By learning how to practice detachment, you can break away from the pressure and allow yourself to be more creative.
The benefits of not treating your work as your ‘baby’
Being less attached to your writing can help you become a better writer. Rather than worrying about the finished product, you focus on the creative process. You can experiment with different ideas without worrying about how well they’ll turn out. You can take risks and be more open to failure without guilt.
Detachment also helps to reduce stress and anxiety. A more detached perspective can also help you become a better freelancer. When you emotionally detach from your final work, you can be more open to constructive criticism and feedback from others. You can learn from your clients’ and readers’ perspectives to improve your writing.
Finally, detachment can help you become a more confident writer. You can trust that it is good enough without constantly worrying about it.
Your work is not ‘your baby.’
One big mistake many writers make is to treat their work as if it is their ‘baby.’ They become so attached to the work that they put too much pressure on themselves. This can lead to distress and a lack of creativity and self-confidence.
It is important to remember that your work is not ‘your baby.’ You cannot control the outcome of your work. Learn to accept that there will be mistakes and that your piece is not perfect. Yes, it is a piece of art, but it is no masterpiece. Instead, look at your creative output objectively and make changes where necessary.
How to detach yourself from your writing
Practicing detachment can be a complicated process, but it is not impossible. Here are some tips on how to let things go:
- Accept that your work has mistakes.
- Focus on the creative process.
- Take a break.
- Get feedback from others.
- Trust your instincts.
You can learn to detach yourself from your creative work and hone your craft with practice and patience.
How to make detachment part of your creative process
Once you’ve learned how to let it go, making the practice part of your creative work is essential. Here are some tips on how to apply detachment to your writing process:
- Set deadlines.
- Don’t overthink it.
- Write an ugly first draft, take a break, and return to the draft the next day.
- Ask for feedback on your drafts.
- Celebrate your successes and appreciate your progress.
Writing can be an emotionally charged process. But the key to becoming a better writer is learning to practice detachment. Don’t be afraid to let it go and free yourself from expecting your work to be an award-winning piece.
Following the quick tips outlined in this article, you can learn not to treat your work as your ‘baby.’ Detach yourself and trust that your writing is good enough. So, the next time you write, remember to let it go and let yourself get creative. There’s no need to worry about the outcome.