Friday, June 7, 2013

The Joy of Writing

Why do I write?

It's a very inconvenient addition to my day. These days it means, after an all-day stint of math research and a good afternoon run, with a pile of editing deadlines awaiting me in the evening, I have to squeeze in an hour or two to whittle away at my little bundle of words. But I still do it. In fact, I do it as a first order priority.

Why? Because I love it.  Lately, I've been failing to meet many other goals because I've been putting writing first, and I'm realizing that's not a bad thing. There's nothing that satisfies me more in a day than the special moments I spend with the story, the way it expands just a little bit more, wrapping around me like some sort of creeping vine. There is a joy that I discover in that hour or two, when time seems to stretch out and a different kind of reality takes over.

Writing, for me, is not about vanity or money or fame or the pride of calling myself an author. A good thing too - because all such things have led to disappointment. I'm not concerned with any of that. What matters: the words, the story that continues to be written, the lessons to be learned along the way. It's what starts us all off, and keeps us going.

Here's a good reminder to all writers, experienced or new: don't get lost amid the promotion. Find the balance. Go for a run, cook a nice meal, enjoy a glass of wine, watch a good show on TV, see a movie. Write. Write. Write. Make sure your mountain is not upside down. I do a little bit of promotion for my book every day, but it's just a little, and little things add up to big things when you add a lot of them together.

So, why do we write? That's a good question to ask yourself, and I'd love to hear from you!

Graeme Brown is a Winnipeg author and junior editor for Champagne Books. He writes epic fantasy, with his first story, The Pact, now available. He is a frequent blogger and a tweeter, and a third year math student.


Kate Richards said...

I went fulltime writing/editing just short of two years ago and I have never had a job I loved more. I get up every morning and hit my desk and essentially I work until bedtime (I do stop to cook for the hubs, do laundry occasionally...) It's a pleasure I wouldn't have ever dreamed of.

Naomi Stone said...

I've always been a day-dreamer and writing brings those daydreams to life.

It turns an idle fancy into a full-blown adventure with 3D Sensurround and logical repercussions and grounding in back story. It gives imaginary friends true, living dimension. It's just cool.

Big Mike said...

Agree with all your observations. Plus, I find after 18 writing projects and releases, my energy levels are waning. So many demands on our time, I often feel overwhelmed, especially when the only thing I can put on the back burner is the never ending story I'm working on that's taking forever to complete. Grrrr.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

My reasons for writing have changed, but not the joy.

When I started out it was learning to tell a story --and I had many. Now it's the way words work.

I read differently, too. I like good plots and philosophy, but those books must have real meaning and also sound good when read out loud. Poetry in prose, the perfect combination to make stories come trippingly off the tongue.

Novel Novelist said...

I've got three books on the market. The nice part of writing is that I get to make up the ending. How many times does a person get to do that in real life?

I also get to research people and places that I wouldn't have done otherwise. It forces my brain into the fresh air of fiction.

Having a bad day? Make one of your characters kick butt in your story and make it all better! You don't even have to worry about going to jail.

Writing makes me feel good, even when the story isn't unfolding the way I have envisioned. Write On!

Rick Giernoth said...

I love watching the characters develope. I know that sounds corny, but I often start with some strange idea, come up with a character without boundries and as he/she takes the hurdles, they change, move and evolve. The story is usually just as unknown to me as the reader making it fun. And I honestly just love telling a story someone might want to read.

Allison Knight said...

I write because I have to. Sounds silly, I know, but I have to put the stories racing through my head onto paper to make room for the other stories waiting to be told. If others enjoy them then I'm doubly happy, but the stories have to come out.

joyce said...

I love the creative process of writing. I love how changing out a few words in a sentence can change the whole mood and intent of a paragraph. If I didn't write, I'd have to do something else creative--probably redecorate the house. My husband quakes at the thought.

Anonymous said...

I finally figured out why I write, and it's because I can't help it. Yes, I'm that driven. I can go along for short periods without feeling the need, especially if I have books to read, but eventually I'm at it again. I did discover that if I was scanning an old-rights-back book for an ebook, that helped a lot, becaue at least I was doing something with words. Jane

Nikki said...

So many of us feel that compulsion. I write because I can't not write. Editing is satisfying, too, in a different way, but I still have that gut-deep urge to get the stories out, to learn who these characters are and why they do what they do. I want to know who killed the murder victim, which driver will win the race, and why the timeship sings. The only way to do all this is to apply the bum-gum and write.

Victoria Roder said...

I write because otherwise, I don't sleep at night. I need to purge my mind of the characters and ideas.

Browng34 said...

Thanks so much for all your comments! It's good to see this common thread among us: we write because we love it, and there's really nothing we'd rather do more.

Here's to discovering many happy writing moments ahead of us!