Sometimes the writing itself is its own reward

I am reading this wonderful book by the writer, Elizabeth Gilbert of the famous, Eat, Pray, Love memoir.  It’s a hard cover, so it was costly, but I knew it would be one of those books I’d keep always.  I’ve dog-eared practically every other page, and wrote in the margins, and added exclamation points where she and I heartily agree.

It’s part inspiration, part memoir about her writing practice, and it calms me down as a writer. All the crazy thoughts I have, she has had, and many goofy things she’s done as a writer makes me smile.  We writers are a tricky lot, we want to write, we think about it every day, and yet, rather than write, we clean out a closet.  We torture ourselves, and just knowing that everyone else does that, I feel a lot better

The fact is, we’re more concerned with the end result of our writing — the book, the finished manuscript, just wanting it DONE already.  That’s not helping.  We need to enjoy the writing journey.  Writing this blog, right now, is enjoyable for me now that I’ve opened up the laptop, given my dog a bone to chew so she’s not pawing at me to play, and have a bottle of water next to me so I don’t have to get up and make something to drink.  I’m enjoying taking the thoughts from my head, putting them onto this page, fixing this, tweaking that.  Maybe I’ll add a photo of the book, or a picture of the author.  Maybe I’ll add a nice quote, or a funny one.  Right now, I am the creator of this little blog universe.  It will be the best part of my day today.

What I want to share is that along with wanting to write a book, a memoir, a book of short stories, whatever, we gotta make room to enjoy the writing time. Period.  We need to look forward to that time alone with our thoughts, with the characters we’re going to write about.  If we are not enjoying the writing, even a little, then maybe we aren’t writing the right book.

 

magic

Celebrate the fact that you wrote for 15 minutes today, or that you wrote for an hour on Sunday.  Take away the guilt, and replace it with the desire to have that time of joy in your day.  Putting that time into your day makes you “join the club” so to speak with all the great writers that have been.  Now, that’s something to ponder.

This is how Elizabeth writes about the followup to her bestseller.   liz gilbert

“…I’d had a thrilling intellectual and emotional experience writing The Signature of All Things — and the  merits of that creative adventure were mine to keep forever. Those four years of my life had been wonderfully well spent.  When I finished the novel, it was not a perfect thing, but I still felt it was the best work I’d every done, and I believed I was a far better writer than I’d been before I began it.  I would not trade that encounter for anything.”

 

 

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