Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fun Writing

The first time I wrote a novel, it was so fun! In fact, it didn't feel like work at all because it was just pure enjoyment. (Maybe I should have put some work into it, then it might have gotten published, but hey.)

My second novel started out fun, but after a few months it started to become work. It was hard to get all the way through it, and then all the way through it again. But I did, and now it's published.

When I began a third novel, it was really fun for the first few months, and then the holidays came and I stopped writing. Then I never went back because by then the fun and newness had worn off. I lost my desire to finish it.

Part of me felt obligated to finish this "baby" because I was officially a "writer" so I had to. But sometimes when I feel like I have to do something, I automatically don't want to do it anymore. It was the same with the book.

But then something happened. It was a turning point of sorts. I decided that I was a writer, that this story deserved to be told, and that I was going to write it even if it was work and it could be difficult. (Besides, I have a small fan club, consisting mostly of immediate family members, that can't wait for it to be finished.)

So I decided to try again, but there were a few things I needed to learn before I could, and they were:

1. Have fun: I engaged in a couple different writing projects that were so fun and satisfying in every way. This helped me to get the "fun" spark back again.

2. Trust God: I believe my talents were given to me by Heavenly Father and that He intends that I use and share my talents, not bury them. I needed to trust that He would help me write, but I also needed to put forth the effort. Recently, when it was that time of day for me to write, I had no idea what to write about. No thoughts had come to my mind at all previously, but within two hours, I had still written more than eight pages.

3. Trust myself: I think I was at a point where I didn't know if I had it in me to finish writing another novel. (Who knows. Maybe my published novel was just some sort of weird fluke that fell into my head and flowed out my fingertips, and could never be repeated.)But every time without fail, when I set time aside to write, words that weren't even there before, come. Plus, I've completed three books now, I can certainly complete another one.

4. An attitude adjustment: My problem was viewing work as something not fun. But when I could see how fun, exciting, rewarding, and satisfying work could actually be, the whole idea of work shifted in my mind.

5. Patience: Writing a book takes time, but everyday I can see progress being made. Goals help to keep me on track, and when I accomplish a goal, it's all I need to feel satisfied. This helps me to be patient while I work for that day it's complete.

I'm still working on getting a good writing system down, but it's coming together nicely. Most of all, I'm doing what I love and having fun while working at it.


Rebecca Irvine said...

I really needed to hear this today. Thanks for helping jump start an attitude adjustment. I needed it.

Taffy said...

Thanks for the great post. It helps to put perspective back into my writing day!

Brenda Anderson said...

Wow! That is exactly how I've been feeling. Thanks for some great advice.

Christine Thackeray said...

The second (published) book is often the hardest. My first writer's conference in the NW I remember talking to writers and was surprised how many only had one book published and never had completed a second. It's tough.