More on writing with joy

I’ve been on a mission of late to rediscover the joy of writing and in particular the passion for my current work in progress. I lost it for a while there — lost sight of why as I got all caught up with what and how and is it actually any good? (In fact, I blogged on this topic in June here.)

So I’m trying to ditch my fixation on metrics (how many words, how many times a week, how many times I ditch a scene) and just enjoy the process.

I want to smile when I sit at the computer. I want to look forward to spending time with my characters. I want to be entertained by their adventures.

And then on Saturday morning, as I sat down to write in my local cafe with friends, I read over some notes about events that are to come and I finally felt that thrill I’ve been missing. It started in the pit of my stomach and made me catch my breath… and right then I simply knew I had to continue writing that story.

That feeling… I wish it could be bottled.

I’ve spent much of the past year and a half second-guessing myself, trying to please people other than me. Trying to be more accomplished than I probably am — focusing on the end-game rather than the journey.

Well now I’m going to sit back and (to coin Holly Lisle‘s favourite phrase) write with joy.

A week or so ago on her blog, Liv Rancourt asked Fabio Bueno what was the most compelling thing about his most recent project — the thing that kept him in the chair through hours of writing and revising… I thought this was a great question, and it really got me thinking about what thrills me about my own work in progress.

It’s an ‘other world’ fantasy about a young woman who experiences what she perceives as an injustice and is driven into breaking all the rules to do something about it.

I’m excited by her journey through arrogant complacency, fear, defiance and ultimately regret — but I believe it was my specific plan for her defiance that got me all inspired on Saturday. I haven’t actually written all that much of this novel yet, so I have much to look forward to.

And, yes, I am actually looking forward to it now — rather than being paralysed by the enormity of the task (and the fear of stuffing it up). This seems to me like a great step forward! Huzzah!

So… wish me joy of my WIP and feel free to share with me whatever thoughts you may have on the subject. Comments on my blog simply make my day.

14 thoughts on “More on writing with joy

  1. Yay for renewed passion and joy in writing! We must be in similar phases as I, too, have recently rediscovered my passion for writing. It meant starting a new project and letting the other “rest” for now, but it feels oh so good to not dread the laptop anymore. So happy for you! Go forth and be inspired! 🙂


  2. Hey, Ellen! Hooray for your phase of renewed passion! And don’t feel bad: all writers go through slow moments and days where they doubt themselves or their WIP. It’s just human, right?
    This joy that’s taking over you is the best part of writing! Writing is art, and it’s an art too. You’re in the zone now. Enjoy the ride. The passion you’re pouring in now will show in the final draft 🙂 Your readers will thank you for it.


  3. Your WIP sounds really interesting. I’m so glad you’re back in it, feeling the joy. I’m on the outs with my WIP, as I’m nearing the end of another draft, and need to be reminded that I love writing, I love this story and I love my next idea, which I’ll be able to start once this story is complete. Thanks for the reminder!


    1. Thanks, Sara… All the best with finishing off your ms. I think that’s the part I like – revising and polishing until ‘perfect’ This first draft stuff is too hard! But I am glad I’ve rediscovered the love 🙂


  4. Ellen, I have elements of a historical fiction unfolding itself in my mind but I keep thinking ‘not now!’ Your article has inspired me to at least consider, if not now, then when? Thanks and keep the joy.


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