Wednesday, April 16, 2014

He Asked-Tips to Restore the Thrill of Writing



Your first date.

Do you remember what it was like? Take a step back in time...

Photo Courtesy
Your bed is layered with twenty outfits tried on and rejected. The one you're wearing barely meets your approval. You've borrowed your older sister's necklace, restyled your hair at least five times, and settled for the lipstick in your left hand.

The doorbell rings. Your heart flutters faster than you can handle and you smear the makeup.

Of course, siblings offer their support with teasing, sing-songy calls--"He's here. Better hurry up."

The left black shoe is missing. You've checked under the bed and behind the laundry hamper twice before remembering seeing your little sister walk off with it yesterday. The sandals will have to suffice.

One last look in the mirror warrants a sigh. He'll have to settle for this. 

His voice echoes up the staircase to your room. That tenor, sweet sound.

You run to the landing and stop. He turns and looks up at you. A smile spreads across his handsome face you adore. He doesn't speak, but his eyes sparkle.

You walk with grace down the stairs despite the urge to tromps as usual. He blushes ever so slightly and reaches a hand to you. "You’re beautiful. Are you ready to go?"

~

This is the thrill.

Anticipation stimulates an electrifying rouse. 

Think of a child’s excitement Christmas morning or on his birthday. The energy surges exponentially—no chocolate needed!

Photo Courtesy
Now think about your work in progress. Is this not the preparation for the writer’s dream date—publication?

Do you wake each morning excited to:

*  try on a new scene?
*  borrow an idea from a crit partner to improve the plot?
*  slip into your character’s POV?
*  look into the mirror (edit) and search for flaws?
*  check the clock and appropriately panic about progress
*  switch ideas when the original doesn’t pan out (like the missing left shoe)
*  are you determined to make the final product the very best it can be?
*  do your thoughts revolved around what you’ll write/edit next?
*  do you match your genre and story theme to your dream publisher?
*  are you bursting to tell all your friends? (marketing foundations)
*  have you journaled your thoughts, concerns, and expectations?

The books we write are destined to fulfill a need, if for no one else, at least for ourselves. God has asked us to do much more than fill pages with words. He wants us to touch lives and meet needs.

As you go about your day today, consider your WIP the magical date you’ve longed for. Talk to God about it. You would talk to God about your date wouldn’t you?

*Make your WIP real. Print out something from your WIP, a favorite scene, a photo of your hero, and/or a color photo of the setting. This will give you something tangible to touch, post in your workspace, and show others.

*Spend lunch or take a coffee break with your characters. Start the conversation by sharing their issues. Listen to their input.

*Go shopping for the appropriate clothing. My heroine is from Chicago. While on a vacation trip to the Rockies she stops in a western outfitter store with a friend and finds a beautiful necklace. She buys it as a souvenir of her trip. I had a great time shopping online for the perfect piece, one that suite her hair color, blouse, and complexion.

Writing a book is no more a chore than going on a date. It’s all in the point of view. And since God asked you to do this task, shouldn't there be a joy/love for the project? 

Consider the best books you've ever read. Someone who simply loved to write wrote those books. Your book could be on someone's list of best loved books one day.



Share how you’ve enjoyed preparing your WIP for the big dream date.


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This blog post is by Mary Vee

Mary has moved to Michigan with her husband, closer to her three college kids. She misses the mountains of Montana, but loves seeing family more often. She writes contemporary and romance Christian fiction, is honing marketing and writing skills, and loves to pen missionary and Bible adventure stories on her ministry blog, God Loves Kids.

Visit Mary at her website and her ministry blog to families: God Loves Kids. Or chat on Facebook or Twitter

12 comments:

Julia M. Reffner said...

Thank you, Mary. I needed this. God is asking me to allow myself to bring back the joy. Your post feels just for me today, although I'm sure its what others need to hear, too.

Angela Verges said...

Thanks Mary. I like the way you compared the WIP to preparing for a date. I will use this technique to help guide me through my current project.

Pepper said...

Oh boy!!! Another reason to go SHOPPING!!
I love the idea of picking out clothes your hero/heroine would wear!

I always have photos of them - and photos of their houses. And I even create their towns. But shopping for clothes? LOVE IT!!

Great post, Mare. WHAT FUN!

Mary Vee said...

Thank you Julia.
There is a special heart beat that happens when we read or hear something God has directed our way. I can read or hear two different people say the same thing, but when God has arranged the right moment, I hear the words meant for me.
i am so glad this post meant something for you and feel especially blessed.

Mary Vee said...

Angela,
I'm not sure I fully revealed the inspiration for this post. I had remembered this was the week before Easter and thought of we the church who will one day be presented as the bride. I am so very excited for that moment…but am not so sure I always work hard to prepare for the moment.

Meeting Jesus for the first time was likened to the first date. Do you remember how you felt then?
This is the thrill/joy I think God wants us to feel when we prepare our WIP. If we truly pour into the words the same excitement-God will use it to touch the life of many readers.

What a thrill to be used by God.

So nice to see you today!

Mary Vee said...

Pepper,
Shopping is so much fun. AND when the dollars are small, we can still have the thrill of looking at the very best-our characters deserve nothing less. :)

Glynis said...

A fun post, Mary, but lots of wisdom in it too! I've been really struggling with wanting to keep working on my piece, so trying on a new angle might just be what I need to be thrilled with my story again. Thanks!!

Mary Vee said...

Glynis,
I'm so glad you stopped by today. May God give you new insight and inspiration for your story.

Jeanne Takenaka said...

I loved this, Mary! What a great word picture for my story. I am excited to write my next story.

I always love talking story with writer friends, particularly when I'm stuck on some aspect of it. Hearing another's perspectives and ideas excites me and keeps me moving forward. :)

Mary Vee said...

Jeanne,
I knew you were starting a new story and am so excited to hear about it. You simply must give me a taste.

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Will do, Mary. Send me your email. My computer ate yours. Sigh.

Mary Vee said...

Wouldn't you know it. You give the computer electricity and all it wants is to eat words. sheesh. I'm sending the email. :)