Monday, April 7, 2014

F is for Fun

Are you having fun writing?

If not, then this post is for you!!

Writing is hard work! Don't ever let anyone tell you different. I mean, authors have to come up with an idea that is unique enough we're not accused of plagiarism, write the story, revise, revise, revise, fill plot holes, keep the readers' attention, create real life, likable characters, make complete strangers love our characters and our worlds.

Like I said, it's hard work. But that doesn't mean it isn't fun. Okay, so maybe not all the revisions, but the actual writing should be fun. Think back to the very first book you've ever written. Do you remember that excitement you felt? That constant need and desire to always be living in your fictional world, to want to spend every waking moment with your characters? The dreams you had about them? The inspiration that was washing over you every time you turned around? Now, ask yourself, do you feel that way about what you're currently writing?

No? Then you're doing something wrong because writing should be fun. I'm not saying it's not difficult, because it is, but if you're not having fun.... Why are you doing it?

This is something I struggled with recently. Writing felt more like something I had to do instead of something I wanted to do. All the fun had been sucked out of it. Here are some of the things I did to overcome those feelings:

1. I stopped writing. I know. I know. As writers we're always told to keep writing. Write every day. But when I wasn't having fun doing it, I stopped. I mean, honestly, why would you continue to do something you weren't enjoying? For about a month, I didn't write a word on any of my books. There was no pressure to meet word count goals or self-imposed deadlines. It was very relaxing.

2. I read. A lot! During my month off, I think I read nine or ten books. Mostly young adult books, which is outside of my realm. Typically I read adult romances, so it was a nice change of pace to read a new genre. And I learned a lot, too!

3. I attended writers groups. I'm lucky enough to be a member of a weekly writers group and a monthly romance writers group. I made it a point to attend more meetings during my down time. Just being around other writers, hearing them talk about their projects, and talking craft was enough to make me want to jump back into my WIPs.

4. I wrote something just for me. When I finally decided to devote time to writing again, I started by writing a story I had floating around in my mind for some time. It's something I don't think I'll ever publish simply because I don't think there would ever be a market for it, but it's a story I'm really excited about. I have fun writing it, and that's exactly what I was looking to get back.

Has anyone else ever lost the fun of writing? How'd you deal with it? Share your tips in the comments :)