Monday, April 20, 2009

Bring Out the Fun In Writing!

No more self-imposed deadlines, word limits, or to-do lists! I'm done with that in my writing!!
I started thinking this last week, and a talk with my mom confirmed it. I have a lot of things going on in my life right now--track, baseball, graduations, being with Justin when he's home from school, my writing course--that I don't need to add on any stress. I think that's what I was doing with my self-imposed deadlines and weekly word counts. I guess not really stressing, but meeting a word count was one more thing added to everything else I'm doing. And right now, my writing isn't as important to me as my family and Justin. So I scrapped the word counts. I'd still like to get done with Roliwyn in June, but I don't think it will happen, and that's fine with me.
I'm not a professional yet. I don't have any official deadlines, except for my writer's course, which is fine. I don't need to worry about any other deadlines, and as much as I'd like to get published, it doesn't have t happen right now.
Don't get me wrong. This doesn't mean I'm going to stop writing! Ask my parents. They'll tell you, "If Heather doesn't get to write, she gets grouchy." It's very true. Writing is good for me. So I'm not going to stop writing. I don't think I could if I wanted to! :0) And that doesn't mean I never want to get published, or that once in a while I'm not going to to send something out for publication. In fact there's a couple of writing contests I'd like to enter this summer. Eventually, I'd love to have some novels published. But not right now.
I want to learn to have fun with my writing again. This last week was the first time in a month or so that I'd really written and really enjoyed it. In fact, I got 1076 words written in about three hours, and I haven't done that in years!! I think I still need to learn some about the nuts and bolts of writing, but I want to enjoy myself and not stress about deadlines and word counts.
I even took a self-imposed hiatus from reading all the writing blogs I follow. I've learned a ton in the last couple of months with the writer's conference and books I've been reading. So now I'm going to shut my inner critic off, apply some of what I've learned to my writing, and just have fun. I want to follow the calling God has given, which is to be Justin's wife and hopefully a published author. I don't want to get so bogged with meeting deadlines that I can't enjoy the gifts God has given me.
I think it's sad that published and successful authors can't do that if they want to make it big. They have to be in a flurry of activity all the time, writing, rewriting, counting words, keeping track of deadlines. That kills so much creativity! Today's world thinks quantity over quality. Think about how much better all of your favorite books would be in the author had leeway to work with the book a couple of years instead of turning a steady stream of one, two, three, or more books a year!
Writing is an art. It takes talent to be able to string words together to make a cohesive sentence that conveys what the author wants to the reader to know. It takes logic and practice to be able to plot a book and follow the character through thick and thin, making sure it comes out OK in the end.
I wish that we writers had more time to develop writing as art instead of a strict, deadlined profession. Editors expect that authors meet their deadlines. In fact, I've determined that when I'm published, I will not only meet my deadline, I'll be early (only 1 in 1oo authors meet their deadline by the day, much less meet it early). But I want to always enjoy my writing. How do you balance those two things?

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