Things to Love About Writing

This post is part of an ongoing series (first mentioned here) about looking for what’s going right in my writing life. It’s so easy to focus on everything else, don’t you think? On rejections, failed queries, long hours, or negative feedback…and yet, when we start looking for it, there are so many things to celebrate in the writing world as well. I have an ulterior motive in all this: to increase my “positivity,” as defined by Barbara Fredrickson in her book of the same name. (Take the positivity quiz here.) Positivity is like a many-fingered vine, its tendrils twisting through our mood, productivity, family harmony, stress responses, creativity, and more. Join me in my journey to boost positivity, and along the way find more joy in writing and life!

Travel, manatees, crabs and mangroves—from the past two weeks’ posts, you’re probably starting to think that I have this amazing, glamorous life of travel and research.

Andrew StawarzPhoto courtesy of Andrew Stawarz, Flickr Creative Commons

And I do! For about…one week a year.

The rest of the time, I bet my life looks pretty much like yours: I carve out writing time between kids, dogs, husband, friends, other work, volunteering, writing group, reading, laundry, cooking, cleaning…you get the idea!

The writing life is one filled with hard work and occasional hair-pulling, but if you know where to look—or maybe, if you know how to look—the writing life is one filled with things to love. I love this series of posts, both because it encourages me to look for the joy in writing and because I’ve gotten to share so many of YOUR writing successes:

  • “I wrote a new scene over the weekend…I’ve been stuck for a few weeks trying to get my story to gel and this scene helped pull some key parts together. That’s a win in my book!”—TL Conway
  • “I think I might just be able to see a glimmer of light in my editing tunnel. I’m almost certain it isn’t a train!” –Sarah Pearson
  • “Doing research-related writing is the best.”—Theresa Milstein
  • “My delight? I can see my story getting better as I edit. That’s definite delight there.”—KT Hanna
  • “For me, I’m enjoying the process of learning about the new characters that are taking over my life, and the historical time era I’m exploring…”—Kenda Turner
  • “I’m a pantser and I had two great moments last week with my writing. It’s fantastic when my stories surprise me and come together so nicely.”—Christina Rains
  • “I can think of lots of reasons to love writing, but mangrove crabs was never one of them. Having a friend who loves writing because of mangrove crabs is one of the reasons I love writing, though!”—Laura K Deal
  • “I absolutely LOVE writing nonfiction for this very reason. For one nonfiction piece I wrote, I has the honor of speaking to a guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns. What a neat experience. Even with fiction, I love to research different character details and settings. Research is so fun, and I can get quite distracted!”—Julie Musil
  • “I love writing for the discovery of it. I also love doing research. Even though I write fiction (and mostly fantasy) I still do a LOT of research before diving into a novel, specifically about time period, place, and the myths surrounding the area/topic. I’m always watching some documentary, and my roommates never know what to expect when they get home.”—Tiffany Garner

You remind me that some of my best writing moments happen in a coffee shop, when I look up and realize that two hours have disappeared and I’ve been writing furiously the entire time. Or when I re-read something I’ve tackled over and over and over again, and realize that it finally, amazingly works. Thank you, thank you, thank you for helping me remember that the best writing moments aren’t necessarily the “big” ones—they’re like flowers growing by the roadside, lovely and wonderful and so easy to overlook.

My writing delight of the week? I’m making forward progress on my YA novel rewrite. Slow progress, but progress nonetheless, and it feels wonderful!

How about you? What’s rocked your writing world this week? And was it something big, or something small and still filled with delight?

The hidden price of "productivity" every writer needs to know - www.cherylreif.com

You’ve probably read the same tips I have: Have a smart phone? Check Facebook while standing in line at the post office! Respond to Twitter messages while waiting for your dentist! Catch up on your news feed while sitting on the pot! For years, I thought the path to increased productivity was to squeeze in MORE–more […]

Comments

  1. says

    Actually, I spent most of my weekend reading. It was lovely! I started and finished one book on Friday night, then worked on two different submissions from my crit partners. I love contributing to the writing life simply by reading and learning at the same time!

    • says

      That sounds heavenly :). I LOVE reading–well, I guess that’s obvious, but I especially love reading manuscripts from my critique group. Isn’t it wonderful that you can count reading as “work”?

  2. says

    On the way to Las Vegas there is an old foundation of a house that burned down. The old stone fireplace and chimney sit in the middle of scrub. It’s always captivated me and I FINALLY found a place to use it in a story. Not planned. It just popped into my mind when I needed it. Fun moment.

    • says

      Oh wow, that sounds really cool and inspiring. I’m glad you found a place to use it. The timing of your comment startled me, because my husband JUST made a trip to Las Vegas :). Funny!

  3. says

    I love your blog. It’s inspirational. And I’m so glad you’re making progress with your YA rewrite.

    For me? The last week’s been kinda big.
    My last week has seen me:
    Finish my 3rd draft of my trilogy’s first book.
    Send said 3rd draft to 10 CP/beta readers (some of the first, some of the latter)
    Detail and Plot my H WIP
    And as of last night I’m 53% through the first draft of H WIP (just over 40k – not sure that’ll stay half… I may have to change the aim from 75k)

    So, my week has been one of my busiest ever.

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