Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Keeping the Love of Writing Alive

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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.
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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 colorful Colorado where she gets to live her dream stalking--er--visiting with her favorite CO authors. 




Glynis said...

I love all these ideas. I have spent the last two years reading and talking about writing a lot more than writing. And I think it was from a feeling of joylessness, not just in my writing but in lI've. I'm trying very hard to purposefully complain less, find the beauty in every day and maybe, just maybe I will find my inspiration again. Thanks for a wonderful post!

Glynis said...

...not just in writing but life. But you probably figured out what i meant!

Debra E. Marvin said...

I think it's okay to let the joy go at times. It's hard work. Nothing beats the jazzed up feeling when it's going well, but that's...only part of the time, right? Which is why your list is so, so on target, Casey!

I've quit writing in the past. It's not for everyone, and not everyone is going to succeed. But the time away was helpful. I know I'd just not be able to do this without a writer friend to whine to and vent to. Usually, after that, I'm back to work. So much of the writing experience is knowing we share the same highs and lows, and learning balance between the world in our head and the one demanding we function in real life. Ugh!

"Just Keep Swimming"

kaybee said...

"Barney" never worked with my kids. Sigh. I don't remember what I did use.
There are days when there is absolutely no joy. But when it works, the joy is worth it. We do have to plow through the dark times and the "blah" times, unless the Lord specifically tells us not to.
I have been working on two separate novels, and their individual series, for about 10 years. Four books, two in each series, and no sale or contract or agent in sight. yet. But I started roughing out a new book this week, just to see where it goes, and I'm seeing again why God called me to do this. There isn't joy yet, but there will be. I am looking forward to getting to know these two new people.
Kathy Bailey

Amber Schamel said...

Great post, Casey! I've caught myself falling into the trap of discouragement this year because I haven't kept the joy. Thankfulness is such a huge part of that. This is a great reminder.
Thanks! <3

Robin E. Mason said...

love this, Casey! I just decided - whilst out walking - that my new #1 tip for new [or any really] writers is... have a second or third of fourth creative outlet. You don't have to be great at it (but maybe you are) but anything that gets our creativity flowing comes back to our writing! I don't even know how many times a scene has come to me while I was walking! ha!