Joe’s Post #163
When did writing become ‘not fun’?
Well, never, really, but there is an aspect of writing that has become a chore and Silk’s post made me realize what.
It’s the idea that the goal – that of getting published – becomes more important than the process of writing. The goal is fraught with all sorts of pitfalls, rejections, and nights curled up in the corner with a carton of ice cream, binge watching Teletubbies on Netflix.
Oh sure, I love do my blog posts, especially my justjoebc blog about being a stepdad, and that’s writing, too, righ? But tackling a novel, well, that’s a whole different type of writing.
I used to love it. I did. I wrote a good 4 or 5 of them before that love began to fade. And it faded due to a perceived failure on my part. A failure to write well enough, or create a good enough query letter or whatever.
And that failure can drag you down.
Cuz it’s about the goal.
So what if I looked at the process, again?
Why do I love to blog?
Cuz I don’t ever worry about the outcome. I have no goal at this point. One day I would love to pitch the idea of a book about a clueless stepdad trying to figure it all out, but for now, I just write.
As well, with a blog, you’re done quickly. You tell your little story of the day and move on. It’s that simple. No worrying about structure or character or theme or how to integrate a love story into the plot.
Being me, I wondered, could I still have some fun writing something other than a blog? Or a novel?
So, last night, I did just that. I wrote out a short story. 3388 words. Not a long story to be sure, not even one that has a market, but one that was fun to write.
And it was fun. I lost myself in the words. I didn’t stress about hooks or proper attributions or clever rhetorical gimmicks, I simply wrote what was in my head and put it into the computer.
Sort of like what I do with the blog.
So, then why can’t I find a way to do that with my novel?
More thinking will be required, but for now I’m substituting routine for passion. Sort of a ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ thing. I get up, write a bit for fun, take a break, then write on my novel until noon. So far I’ve managed to get anywhere from 3 pages to 12 done per day done. Not stellar production, sure, but forward progress, nevertheless, and such progress will eventually allow me to complete another novel.
But that idea of making it fun, again, intrigues me.
I want to get back to that when I write a novel.
I’m just not sure I can clear out all the clutter in my head to do so.