Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Joy of Writing

From Cheryl's Writing Crate

When I'm feeling rushed and overwhelmed with too many commitments, I am always reminded that the main reason I love being a writer is because it makes me happy.  Though many times I must physically write amongst chaos, noise, and dozens of other nuisances, when I am focused and deep in thought I am instantly transported to my own little world, a world that I control with my ideas.

I call this my "writer's happy place", and each time I am in this zone, I feel calm, content and able to handle just about anything that comes my way.

While writing in my "happy place" I experience moments where I laugh out loud, sometimes cry, or when I'm really tapped in and turned on I might discover something new about myself or the world around me that I never would've realized had it not been for my love of the process of writing.

So, if writing can evoke such a plethora of amazing feelings, what could possibly be the hang up?  Real life, that's what!  I don't mean to keep returning to the "I'm a busy mother of eight" scenario, but it is the truth.  And every writer I know is juggling a career, household, families and pets, never mind raising kids, so at least I'm not alone.  Because of our passion to write, we find creative ways to make it a regular part of our lives despite the odd hours we keep or the eclectic rituals we follow to make it happen.

Through the years I've saved an on-line journal of my favorite writing advice from other writers.  I visit this collection when I'm feeling uninspired as well as when I'm on a writer's high and my words just seem to flow.  By doing this I allow myself to glean new ideas on a host of topics regardless of how many times I've read the same advice because my needs at that particular moment are different than they were last year when I read the same piece.

John Soares from is a writer I turn to when I want to shake things up with my writing.  Here are three thoughts of his that I have found very helpful in keeping the joy alive and well in my “writer’s happy place”.
Staying inspired with an on-line journal of quotes from writers helps me keep the joy in my writing.

Move From One Writing Project to Another
If you’re like me, you have multiple projects going at one time. You must pay attention to deadlines and make sure you meet or beat them, but within the structure of your project completion dates, you usually have some flexibility. If I find myself growing weary of one project, I switch to another on a different topic, or to one requiring different skills. This brings back my enthusiasm and my ability to get high-quality work done quickly.

Practice Present-Moment Awareness

Frequently associated with Buddhism, Taoism, and other religious traditions, present-moment awareness means staying focused on what you are doing this moment. Don’t think about anything that happened in the past. Don’t think about what you’ll be doing in the future. Just relax and give your single-minded attention to your writing.

Vary Your Writing Location

You can do this in many ways. I frequently write on my laptop on the back deck of my house in rural northern California. I also like to write in coffee shops and libraries. In summer I go camping with my laptop (and DC-AC inverter that allows me to recharge the laptop battery using my car battery). And I also get to write in the beautiful homes where I house sit.
What do you do that keeps the joy in your writing life?

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