Sunday, December 7, 2014

Serious Fun

I take writing pretty seriously. I work at it every day and I set goals for finishing manuscripts. Sometimes I have deadlines to meet; edits due back to the editor by a certain time, blog posts, such as this one, needing to be written on schedule
Because I take my writing seriously, I occasionally have to remind myself to let go and have some fun with it. I don’t want to become one of those people, you know the ones, who take themselves so seriously that other people begin to roll their eyes and then stop inviting out for coffee.

Then again, I didn't start writing and don’t keep writing just for the fun of it. So why did  I put on my trail shoes and start down the path marked ‘the writing life’?  It wasn't because of the money, because, God knows, working at the donut shop would likely pay better. It wasn't because of the reviews and the praise I may or  may not get. Oh, the praise is lovely; no doubt about it, but it’s beyond my control and looking for it constantly can make a girl crazy. It wasn't for the terror of facing an empty page and thinking ‘now what?’.

Honestly, there are days I have to think long and hard to come up with a reason. When I do, it always comes back to the same thing—joy.  I love making up stories, I love the way words sound together and when they come together well, when they sing? It’s pure bliss. I love creating characters who become so real they sit with me as I type and talk in my head even when I’m not writing. I love the challenge of trying to capture time and place, like catching fireflies in a jar, of making manifest on the page the sights and sounds of my imagination. 

To do all of those things, any of those things, I have to be willing to sit back, to play, to let the story run wild and free, at least in the early draft. The more I can let go, the better the work becomes. I guess you could call it serious fun.

 'Til Next Time


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

The simple act of writing is still fun.

We published authors have "responsibilities" that are not always much fun for us recluses, but overall, we're having ball in our heads.

Nice post, Ute.

Anonymous said...

I work hard writing Feb-Sept then I take a hiatus so I can enjoy my main life pleasure: being in the woods for hours each day with mother nature. It's where many ideas come to me for writing.

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

Unknown said...

We do have to remember how much fun it is, Julie. Between holidays, some edits and other things, I haven't been actively writing in a few weeks. And I'm anxious to get back to it.
I'd imagine taking months off would make me anxious, too, Mike. Though I do get the mother nature part. I love to hike and ski and often get ideas for stories while I'm outside tooling around. Sometimes, when I get stuck on something, the best was to unstick is to take a walk in the woods.

Liz Fountain said...

Writing for writing's sake = pure joy. :) Thanks, Ute!