OK, are you squirming yet?
Brown-spattered teeth sitting in beef gravy jar
Leftover white scraps from peeled off label
Displaying mocha stained reminder of
Root canals, that novocaine jab numb shooting up your nose.
OK, that is a few lines from a rough draft of a poem I wrote a few days ago. About dentures, of all things. Because, yes, I'm just THAT strange.
AND because I want to remind you of why we started this whole writing gig in the first place.
Am I right? We write because we love it.
Because ever since we were toddlers, the sounds of rhyming words have brought giggles of glee. Buried in the childhood box of "shame and embarrassment" is a red magic marker penned holiday story filled with alliterative phrases. My mother still quotes these occasionally in public in order to teach me humility.
Though we may look as though we've eaten too many habeneros when we think of some of these early attempts at "writing." Boy, sometimes I cringe at my latest attempts at craft.
I needed to remind myself lately of why I love to write.
Did you just send in your Genesis entry after spending months stressing about "showing not telling" and plausible plot arcs?
Are you going through a period of personal trial and finding writing at all to be difficult?
Do you ever find yourself in analysis paralysis, stuck finding all the errors in your fiction but unsure of how to fix it?
These are three of the many signs you may need to put the "fun" back in your writing?
Here are some of my suggestions:
Switch forms. Do you normally write novel? Try writing a personal essay about an issue that is weighing heavily on your mind. Back in my college days, poetry was my favorite form of writing. I've recently discovered just how much I miss it.
Consider pre-writing. No I'm not talking about pre-writing as the stage of planning before your novel. I'm talking about word dump. Pour out everything that's on your mind. You might find your creativity output is stopped up because of personal issues that need processing.
Excercise away. If you can't think of ideas, writing books and magazines are great places to start. Writer's Digest has picture prompts...you can even enter contests with some of them. The Write Great Fiction series from Writer's Digest books and Susan May Warren's workbooks are great choices to help you through your current story or get ideas for a new one. Sometimes for me a simple exercise can unblock my creativity.
Think of our old friend, Mr. Geisel. Yes, its OK to be silly.
Think back on your favorite writing memories, then recapture them. I'm betting most of them are related to letting go of inhibitions and allowing yourself freedom in your writing.
Break up your routine. Every once in a while go to that coffeshop and have a latte while you enjoy wordsmithing. Write in a different room of the house or try writing at a different time of day. Fatigue can definitely decrease enjoyment of even our favorite activities.
I've been going through a bit of a medical trial with my family and adding a bit of fun to my writing has really helped me make it through the rough spots.
What do you do to get the fun back in writing?