I was having a talk with my writing friend J. G. Lynn, and we were discussing our goals for the week, and the most frequently used phrase in that conversation was (and you must read this in your head in a very woe-is-me kind of tone) “Well… I should be working on…” Until we realized how miserable we both sounded.
Now, before I get too far into this lackadaisical attitude, let me say that there is certainly a place for pushing through the days where you don’t feel like writing, and there are grunt-work tasks involved in the business of publishing that are simply unavoidable. I’m not downplaying the importance of these things at all.
However, there is also a lot to be said for having fun while writing. And most of the time, it’s nothing more than a mentality shift. I could be working on the same scene and thinking, “Argh, this exposition is so clunky and difficult,” or “Hey, I’m writing the history of my very own world, and that’s freaking cool!” Writing is fun. Creating worlds is fun. Throwing characters into strange situations is reeaaally fun! I let myself forget that sometimes.
Also, I’m all for pushing through the days of no inspiration and getting stronger because of it, but sometimes I’ll be slogging through a short story that I’m just not into because I truly want to be working on this novel instead. That doesn’t benefit the story or the novel, and it just leaves me tired and frustrated.
So, instead of setting monthly goals as usual, J. G. Lynn and I decided that our only goal for the month was “I ain’t doing it if it’s not fun.” Because, really, writers spend way too much time writing to not actively enjoy the process.
Is everyone else having fun out there? What is making you smile these days?