Finding Joy in Writing

Writing is fun.

I’m finding myself having to repeat the above, like a mantra.  Truthfully it hasn’t been much fun lately; I have a self imposed deadline to finish my novel, and I’m getting nowhere fast.  I’m a perfectionist.  Not one of the write-first-edit-later crowd (and yes, I know that’s the most effective way to write).

I’ve gone back to the drawing board more times than I care to admit.  Each time I promise to myself that this time I’ve got it right.

So, here I am again.  Back to sub-10,000 words.  But it will be a better novel.  This time I’m genuinely happy with it.  For now.

I’m also trying to find the joy in writing again.  That feeling when you’re on a roll, and the words are tumbling out.  And you know that what you’re writing is good.  Your characters are likeable, you have a clear story trajectory, and you’re no longer worrying about whether it will appeal to a mass audience because it doesn’t matter so much.  You like it, and are proud of it.  That’s the way to approach writing.  That’s what I’m trying to achieve.

I’m a reluctant convert to story planning; I always preferred to just write.  Writing without a structure is easier and therefore more fun, but unfortunately it can lead to a disjointed end product.  So now I plan, but not forensically – I still like to ‘pants’ some stuff.  The best ideas I have come to me while writing, and often they mess up what I’m planning to do – but the idea is too good to ignore.  Hence the over-used drawing board.

Finally, eventually, I will have a completed novel and then perhaps my method will make sense.  And if I don’t, well, at least I’ll be able to say I enjoyed the process.

Well, mostly.

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