When we first start to write, we write for the sheer joy of it, for the love of storytelling and being creative. To a certain extent, that changes when we start to write professionally. Then we no longer write just for ourselves. Now there are genre and grammar rules that must be followed and other people to satisfy ― our agents and editors, our readers. Also, as much as we love to write, at that point it begins to compete with the business aspect of an author’s career. And with that come the distractions of what is now expected of an author ― social networking on multiple platforms and marketing. For many of us, it can become a crushing pressure to do all of this on top of maintaining a 40-hour workweek to put food on our tables.
Ann and I are currently working on a new proposal. As with any new project, the front end tends to be heavily loaded with technical aspects and the research that is required for proper planning ― locations, character creation, details of involved agencies, new scientific details etc. It’s easy during this period to forget why we loved to write because, well, we aren’t writing yet.
Last week I was really feeling it. There’s a lot going on in my life right now between work, family and writing, and I knew I needed to find an outlet. I sent out the request, and Ann was immediately on board. When we started writing together years ago, it was just for us, so we took a short break to go back to where we started. It’s been a long time since we were able to do this and I have to say it really felt great. It was different than before ― learned craft is now involuntary, and bad habits like passive voice and head hopping are now mostly non-existent (or are caught and edited out) ― but there is something freeing in just writing for the sheer joy of it. And if no one saw it but us, it would still be worthwhile.
How often do you take some time to just write for you? Or, for other creatives, to just sing or paint or draw, just for you? Does it refresh you to go back to your professional craft, remembering why you love it so much?
Photo credit: hpaich