So, what have I been up to lately? Well, for the most part, editing and preparing for NaNo :) My current book is so, so close to being finished, and I think I have a pretty good idea of where I'm going for my new book. And I'm excited...EXCITED...about both of these things. And it got me thinking about why I do what I do.
I've come across people in crit groups or writers forums that seem so stressed out and disillusioned by the endless rounds of edits and revisions and harsh critiques and agent rejections and publisher rejections that they do nothing but complain and bash writing and the publishing industry in general. Yet, when asked, "If you hate it so much, why do you do it?" they invariably answer along the lines of "I've put so much work into it, I can't justify quitting" or "Because being a published author has been a dream of mine since I was little, I'm not going to quit."
While I admire being able to stick with something even when it gets difficult, it's the attitudes behind it that confuse me. This business can be hard. It is a roller coaster of emotions and successes and failures. But most writers I know still love what they do. LOVE it with a capital L. Despite all the hardships and ups and downs, writing just isn't something they could ever do without.
I came across a quote the other day that sums up how I feel about it.
Most people quit. If you don't quit, if you rewrite, if you keep publishing in fancier places, you will understand thta "What's the secret?" is not the question, which is "Are you having fun?"
~ Robert Lipsyte
I read that and thought, "Yes! That is the question!" Are you having fun? Even though you may be crying in your Cheerios over that rejection or at having to cut half your book and start over - are you having fun? Cause if you're not...then what's the point?
Life is too short to spend so much of it engrossed in something you don't enjoy. I write because I love it, because I enjoy it, and because I have fun doing it. Coming up with new storylines, reading the comments of people who are enjoying my stories, losing myself in new worlds and ideas, penning that perfect line, all these things make me dance around with joy. Polishing up that manuscript, sending out those queries...even with the rejections and the hard work and long hours...it's fun to me. Have you ever seen the look on a dog's face as he rolls around in the grass? That look of sheer and utter happiness?
Yeah, it's like that :D That's what writing does for me.
Writing, even with the downsides, is one of the great lights in my life. If it wasn't, I wouldn't bother.
So how about you? Are you having fun? :)