I know that might sound strange. I’m a writer; I should love writing. We all know there are lots of other – much easier – ways to make money or spend time then writing. Why do it if you don’t love it?
Let me back up.
I have had the great good fortune to be published since August 2007 and I have had several new novels, anthologies and short stories published every year since. But like being in any long term loving relationship, sometimes you lose sight of why you made the choice you did and things feel more like you are going through the motions.
This happened to me.
For the last two years I’ve been writing almost entirely to deadline. I haven’t started any new projects that simply excited me because I’ve been working to contract and on existing series or re-releases. I didn’t hate what I was doing – not by a long shot, but it had become somewhat rote and routine.
I had the piece I was working on with me and I was ready to go. I headed to a quiet part of the house with my laptop and opened up the blurb I had written to sell the story so I’d have a place to start.
But I stopped.
Instead of diving in, something else kicked in and I decided to wait for a moment and think about the characters I was about to create on the page. I thought about my tortured hero and my thoughtful heroine. I thought about the world I was going to write for them so that they would both get what they needed to fall in love and be together.
Rather than rushing to put words on the page I allowed myself to fall in love with what I was about to create.
And something shifted.
I could feel it. There was a bubbling joy, a fun and an ease that I hadn’t experienced in a long time. The resurfacing of old feelings of love and longing. I found myself giggling as I wrote. I couldn’t wait to get back to my computer after meal breaks.
In less than two day I wrote 6,000 words.
But more than the accomplishment of the words was the re-connection to the feelings of love and happiness. I love writing and being a writer. I had allowed myself to forget and, for whatever reason, disconnect with the joy of the process. In the weeks since the retreat I’ve been able to keep that joy alive. It’s wonderful to know it’s there whenever I need it and I am completely grateful for it.
So? Are you in love with what you do?