Monday, September 30, 2013

Writing is Always a Win

From Kate's Writing Crate...

          One of our dogs always has a tennis ball in her mouth. As we play with her, she runs ahead and drops the ball and then backs off it a foot or two. We try to kick it past her so she can chase it. However, she is part goalie so blocking the ball is as big a thrill to her as chasing it down so she always wins the game.
          I, of course, only count it as a win if I get the ball past her so she runs and burns off more energy, but I should join her in celebrating every kick as a win because she is happy as long as we are playing. That's an excellent life philosophy.
That's how I need to think: Writing every day is a win. I am always happy to have written. Now I can be happy writing whether I love what I write that day or not. It's a better mindset and helps me overcome my resistance to start writing.
          It's a hard philosophy to believe, though. We live in a very success-oriented society. No one wants to know about all the hard work and time it takes to write, just whether you are published or not or what your book sales are or how many people read your blog. Higher numbers equal importance.
Hard as it may be to remember, it's our writing that matters. How do we feel about it? Did we bring our characters to life? Did we keep the story momentum going? Did we make our arguments persuasively? Did we capture the moment? Did we write well?
Sure we want people to love our articles, books, poems, and blogs, but it all starts with the writing. Are we happy with our work?
I was surprised to find out how happy I am writing a blog. I love the inspiration I feel as I discover topics to write about and search for books to review. Writing each post is a highlight in my work week.
I will share a secret with the readers of this blog. I am very grateful you take the time to read our posts and occasionally comment, but when Cheryl brought up the idea of a blog, it wasn't the readers I was most excited about, it was the weekly deadline.
I need hard deadlines to get me writing. Because I accepted the challenge of becoming a blogger, I have written 57 essays and counting that I never would have written otherwise. I am proud of this work. My writing has improved due to my self-imposed 500 word count maximum which forces me to make every word tell. And I write at least six days a week.
I am happy with those numbers and any number of readers, too. However, the win, for me, is in the writing.
What numbers about your writing make you happy?

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