I had the pleasure of reading a young writer’s manuscript recently, and though it wasn’t perfect, every line held a breath of excitement and anticipation. I could feel the enthusiasm for the story. She was writing her heart out.
Sometimes, we get in a rut–as writers–and we forget to write our hearts out. We’re too concerned about right and wrong, political correctness, diversity, or any of a number of thrill killers. We forget the most important element–the story. Without the story, none of those worries matter–even a little.
Don’t you think, sometimes…it would be nice if an editor had a problem with one of your characters. Wouldn’t it be nice if my publisher hated my hero because he was a complete a$$hole, I think to myself.
Because that would mean you had an editor! And a publisher!
We start stories in excitement for the characters, the turning points, the idea of this amazing [or funny or quirky or sad] story, and we have to hold on to that excitement or never get to the end. How do we do this?
- Ignore everyone: that simple. Get off social media, find the voice inside of you, and write.
- Make time everyday: an hour to sit and just write, to be in the story and get excited.
- Talk about your story: tell a friend, writer, spouse…someone! Talking about your project nurtures that excitement and gives you the courage to keep going!
- Acknowledge the joy in the process of writing: Whether you love the creativity of imagination or the science of putting words together, enjoy the process, sink into it with all of your author instincts…
and write the book.
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Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.
So, I was reading another author’s blog the other day and something she said on it has been sticking in my mind. She said one of the best things you can do for your mental health and to manage your time as a writer is to continuously ask yourself “WHY?”
Why am I not taking my writing more seriously?
Why do I care so much about reviews?
Why am I on Twitter?
Why do I want an agent?
I really think this is important to do, because sometimes we do things that zap a lot of energy or cause a lot of stress and have no reason why we’re even engaging in that activity that’s causing us so many problems!
That being said, there is no need to rationalize or defend our answers to these WHY questions we ask ourselves. That’s not the point! The point is to get rid of or change anything in our life that we don’t have an answer for why we’re doing it.
I probably should have done this at the beginning of the year, but better late than never! And to be honest, a little self-evaluation every few months is probably good for our mental health and the soul anyway.
And considering my joy has been dipping recently (although probably more due to the media than anything else), I now really need to ask myself WHY?
Question: When was the last time you’ve asked yourself why?
Jennifer Shirk is a USA Today bestselling sweet romance author for Montlake and Entangled Publishing who also happens to be a mom, pharmacist, Red Sox fan, P90x grad, and overall nice person. Check out her latest sweet romance: CATCH HIM IF YOU CAN