How Do I Love Thee…Writing?

For some of us we have a love-hate thing going on with writing. We love, love, love it when all of the mechanics are going well. Like our back isn’t aching, our carpel tunnel isn’t acting up, and our muse is working with us. Then there are the times when life gets in the way, our health, kids, hubby, the day job, and we become frustrated with that feeling of there is not enough time.

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What about the times when our ideas dry up, or our last book doesn’t sell as well as we’d anticipated, or when we question if we are even an authentic writer? Or the editor wants us to dig deeper and we can’t pull anything else out of our bag of tricks. Then we hate, hate, hate, this chosen career. We think it’s too hard, we think we’ll quit, we worry that we’re throwing good money after bad with promotion and marketing, and that we will never see success.

Here are my top five ways to get back into the game and show the writing that we are willing to romance it:

  1. Honor. Honor the fact that you can write. Put joy and passion back into your writing. Take time out daily to marvel at this thing you do. Look at how far you’ve come on this road, and how much you’ve accomplished.
  2. Respect. Understand that this journey is never ending. You finish one story; you start another story. You’ve chosen to be in it for the long haul. It isn’t always going to be easy. Congratulate yourself for all effort, stretch yourself. Write something different, poetry, short story, or article. Even if you do nothing with different work, respect the word, the craft, and your talent.
  3. Stoke the fire. Throw on another log. Do this by reading out of your genre. Read wonderful stories, look at how other authors paint a picture, and question their message, their theme. Go to museums, art galleries, or festivals and wonder about the story the artist is telling. Listen to an orchestra, a great band, or build your own playlist. Get back into nature, talk with other writers. Share ideas.
  4. Give back. Volunteer. Mentor a new writer. Write a blog post about how you write and give something back to those who are coming up fast behind you.
  5. Relax. Take good care of your body and your mind. Regroup if you feel lost with your current work. Get
    a massage to free tension in the muscles. Take a long hot bath. Light some candles. Free your mind…you never know where it will take you.

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What do you find works best for you?

And in your darkest hours, when you think you should quit, does your muse show up with a touch of magic, the glimmer of an idea that soon sparkles and sends you running back to the keyboard? 

 

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16 Responses to How Do I Love Thee…Writing?

  1. I agree with all your suggestions, Robena, although, I gotta admit, my muse only shows up when my ass is in the chair and I’m staring down my laptop, (he’s a bit of a taskmaster). Other peoples’ muses are much more fun.

  2. Oh, I so needed to read this today, Roben! I seriously need more hours in the day – especially this week and am stressing already. Thanks for the great suggestions and also for the wise words about life as a writer. It’s always so comforting to know I’m not alone in my feelings. Have a great day! <3

  3. robena grant says:

    It is a comfort to know we aren’t alone in this biz. Thanks for coming by, Robin. I don’t know how you ladies with hubs and kids and day jobs can juggle it all.

  4. Excellent tips! Thanks for sharing, Robena 🙂

  5. Wise words. We all need this talk from time to time.

  6. Allison Morse says:

    Lovely post, especially to honor we can write. Sometimes when looking at a blank page, I forget. Yikes!

  7. robena grant says:

    I know, Alison. When we’re in the midst of the tough slog we forget to look behind and see how far we’ve travelled. 🙂

  8. I wrote words on a story for the first time in forever yesterday. Why? Because I read Stephen King’s book On Writing and I found it to be so freeing. I also wrote a blogpost about it. I highly recommend it.

    • robena grant says:

      I’ll pop over to your blog in a sec, Judy. Good for you on the writing. I just glanced at my shelf and yes, I do still have Stephen King on Writing. Must take a look as it has been a few years since I’ve read it. 🙂

  9. Tanya Hanson says:

    Hi Robena, every point is well made, and well taken. I like the suggestion of reading outside one’s genre. I also like to revisit classics once in a while. xoxox. And maybe even trying a new genre? Of late, I have been writing short romantic stories for anthologies. Wow. Getting it done in 14k words is such a good challenge for me. Xoxox

    • robena grant says:

      I’ve been reading out of my genre a lot lately. Just finished The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown. It was awesome. And like you, Tanya, I get a ton of satisfaction out of the classics.

  10. Thank you. I so needed your words. Sometimes I feel so inadequate and the next time that happens I am going to honor the writing.

    • robena grant says:

      Yes, Susan. We reach a point with our writing where we accept certain aspects and often forget just how hard it is, and how far we’ve come. We should all honor ourselves and our accomplishments.