Friday, May 16, 2014

Journeying Joyfully

Photo Credit
It’s easy to get sucked into a rut when it comes to writing. From there it’s easier to get sucked into a passive routine where we only sit down to write because this hour has been blocked out on the calendar and the kids are tied up—er—playing in the back room with Barney (only children and their parents from my generation will know this reference ;-) as a babysitter.

It’s easy to become complacent and do it because someone, or even ourselves, expect our backsides to be in a chair and our fingers clicking away on the keyboard. But writing shouldn’t be all about taking each step forward because we have to. We should take every step forward because we want to. It shouldn’t always have to be plodding, but should be filled with times of joy.

Even if we have to search out that joy.

One of the inspirations I saw on Pinterest (yes, I realize that most of my conversations has this word slipped into it) was a jar. A jar to be filled with slips of paper, with a simple note of something good that happened that day. Maybe it’s something as simple as someone made you feel special on Facebook or chatted with you on another social media site, but you really needed the encouragement. Or maybe it’s something big—an agent requested your full book or offered you a contract. Do it before you begin writing or maybe it’s something you do after your writing session is done… but take the time to be thankful. Find some joy in the day to rejuvenate and remind yourself why you started this journey in the first place.

Take the time to send a quick email to another writer friend. Not only will you encourage and uplift them, but you’ll reconnect with a friend and remind yourself of those connections you’ve made within this industry. I don’t have to tell you writing can become a lonely place and it’s these relationships that keep you going more often than not. This definitely the truth on my journey. :- ) Remind yourself frequently that you’re not on this path alone.
Photo Credit

Place an encouraging scripture in plain sight.

Spend time before each writing session in prayer.

Surround yourself with reminders of why you love writing.

Be purposeful in finding and putting joy into your writing journey.

Yes, writing takes a lot of work. By yourself. Spending time putting your fingers on the keyboard and clicking away, creating characters that are only in your head. But don’t let yourself become sucked into a trap of solitude. It’s a handhold for the devil to bring discouragement down on your head.

Sometimes you have to search. Sometimes it comes easy. But in being purposeful to find the joy in the journey, you’ll rediscover why you fell in love with story crafting in the first place.

How do you fall in love with writing day after day?   

Casey Herringshaw is a homeschool graduate and has been writing since high school. She lives in rural Eastern Oregon in a town more densely populated with cows than people. 



Anonymous said...

This post was so timely for me. I've been really discouraged lately, putting myself out there and not hearing anything. These were great ideas, that I'm going to institute and it's so nice to know I'm not alone feeling lonely. Thank you.

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Beautiful post, Casey. It's so good to remember to be purposeful in connecting with other writers, and to write for the joy of it.

Loved this!

Tessa Emily Hall said...

Thank you for this reminder, Casey! It is easy to become discouraged as a writer, especially when you work so hard every day, by yourself, and without any immediate success. That is why I think writing conferences are the best thing out there for writers (and why I can't wait to attend BRMCWC next week!).


Susan Anne Mason said...

True words of wisdom, Casey! Encouraging others is so important in this business, because we do spend so much time alone at the keyboard. Thanks for reminding me to send an email I meant to send long before this!

Gratitude, appreciation and encouragement are all gifts we can share with each other!

I appreciate you!


Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Lovely thoughts, Case! For me, everyday I get to sit down and plunk out more story is a new adventure. So many possibilities! Where will the story take me tomorrow? :) a joy indeed!

Casey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Casey said...

Hello Jessie!
You are definitely NOT alone. I have submitted three or four times and have only gotten one formal rejection. Publishing is definitely a very discouraging business, but it also has many, many encouraging moments. We just have to look for them. :)

Casey said...

And NOW I am thankful I can connect with local writers in the Springs area, Jeanne. :)

Casey said...

Hello Tessa! I love writer's conferences for those exact same reasons too. I hope to someday be able to attend BRMCWC, but until then find Pepper and give her a hug for me! I am sure she will be there for a couple days. :-))

Casey said...

Hello Sue! Connecting with other writers is so very important in this business. I am so grateful for the Alley in this regard--I get to know great people like you!! :)

Casey said...

Amy, yes you definitely do have that kind of fun don't you? And your stories proves it!! :)

Anita Diggs said...

It's so easy to get discouraged when writing! I found that outlining is a great way to get over that slump. An outline is necessary because it helps you to create a step sheet of where exactly your book is going. I've heard writers say, "When I sit down to write a novel, I have a character in my mind and actually don't know what's going to happen."