Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Summer's Here. Oh Joy.

Today is the first day of no school. I haven't cracked open the case of wine yet. Yet. But I have to warn those of you who hate when you check into a blog and find no new posting that I may be a bit more sporadic over the next ten weeks. My schedule is now all rocked to hell, plus the fact that I have two little people looking at me as if I'm supposed to entertain them 24/7. I need to learn 'em differently, but that takes some time.

Tracy Sprayberry wrote something in her blog that just tickled me to no end because I can totally relate:

"I teased Diana about me being in love with my own writing. And ya know what? I am. So much so that I'm anxious to finish this book, just so I can edit it, and therefore read it in full. So much so that I don't care if I never sell it. I'm writing what I love, loving what I write, and feeling a contentment about my writing I haven't felt in years."

I frequently feel that way, too. I'll be looking over something I've written in order to edit it and find myself pages and pages later, totally wrapped up in the story. A story I've written, that I already know how it all plays out. Sure, I see the warts and wince at the problems, but I keep on going because I'm enjoying the story so much.

I've always wondered if this happens to other writers or if I'm really weird. Reading what Tracy said seems to indicate that I'm not alone. And it does make sense, after all. If you write what it is that you love to read, it makes sense that anything you come up with will be sure to hit all the right buttons and keep you completely hooked. Heck, it's this very thing that gives us the reason for that critical neutral eye-view of our own work.

But the one thing that Tracy said that I think I'm going to embroider on a pillow - the remark about not caring if she ever publishes the story. She likes it. She's happy with it and it gives her satisfaction. I think this is such a great attitude. The goal should be to write the very best story you are able to write, to get it to the place where you yourself get lost in the wonder of it, and then be happy. If it gets published, yay. If not, there still exists out there a story that you are proud to have written.

I suppose that's something, then, that we writers need to do from time to time. Pull out those old manuscripts and curl up with a good read. Try really hard to remove our internal-editor hat and just enjoy the story we created taylor-made to our own personal reading preferences. Kind of like those books you can buy for kids, where the publisher will drop in the child's name and other personal details so the book looks like it was written just for that child.

I think that this is the difference between writing for the joy of writing and writing to earn a living. When it comes to the former, the only person you have to please is yourself, and there is a lot of freedom in that.

1 comment:

Caro said...

the remark about not caring if she ever publishes the story. She likes it. She's happy with it and it gives her satisfaction.

There's a lot of wisdom in that statement. Several years ago, I was so caught up in doing all the "right" things in an effort to get published that I ended up losing the joy of the writing. I stopped pursuing that first sale and ended up spending several years writing fan fic.

I know some people look down on fic writing, but that work let me recapture the joy of writing because I was writing primarily for my own pleasure. I also found my voice again, and now I'm finishing up a book a new epublisher has asked for -- a publisher who knows my work through my fic. This time around, I'm trying to keep my eye on the fact that, ultimately, I need to tell the story for me first.