Monday, October 26, 2009

Are You Having Fun?

I'm baaaack :D Still a bit loopey, as I have to stay on a few meds for the next several weeks, but doing much better. Thank you so much for all the kind comments and get well wishes. You guys rock :)

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'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? :)


Suzyhayze said...

Sure! I'm having a lot of fun! Until those moments when it's not fun. More like a splinter. For me, writing is very manic. Glad you're back.

Paul Greci said...

Michelle, I'm having a ball. I love writing--all of it from the crazy, swept-away first draft writing where I'm happily lost in my characters' minds and sucked into their worlds to the gritty sentence level editing that hopefully makes a book shine like a star.

And yes, all of it is challenging but that's part of the fun, too. Writing is not easy and that's okay. I don't want easy, I want engaging.

Stephanie L. McGee said...

Glad to hear you're feeling better!

Happiness in a writing--it's one reason I changed projects again. I have serious project ADD it would seem. But I'm so much happier now. Great post!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Glad you are feeling better. You must be to write such a wonderful post. Fun is to be had, yes!

Jen Chandler said...

Glad to hear you're feeling better!Honestly, I'm not having fun, but it has more to do with my current job than my writing (except for the fact that my current job cuts severely into my writing time). Ugh.

Keep having fun!

B.J. Anderson said...

Absolutely!!! Glad you're feeling better, Michelle! We missed you!

ElanaJ said...

I'm having fun writing. The writing is fun. Just like teaching is fun. But is it fun to jump through hoops to get perfect scores on my evaluations? Um, no. So I think it's sort of the same for writing. The actual creative part is fun. Everything else? Less so. You know?

Don said...

So far, the writing has always been fun. The hardest part is when the clock switches over from "Writing Time" to "Day Job Time," and I have to put the muse back in her box for the rest of the day.

That's hard.

Regina Quentin said...

I'm having SO MUCH fun. Writing is (as you say) a light to me too. I believe it is something that God gave me to do. It brings Him joy when I pursue it. It brings me joy to pursue it. I love it.

Teri said...

I have a love/hate relationship with writing at the moment. I love it and hate it, and seem to have many mixed feelings, but it's something I can't NOT do, if you can pardon the double negative. I'm glad you are back.

Michelle McLean said...

oh yeah...there are definitely not fun moments. Moments when I'm pulling my hair out and teetering off the ledge :) But the enjoyment, the fun of it, far outweigh the not so great moments. If the balance ever changes, I'll have to rethink my direction in life :) But I have a really hard time seeing that happening :D So glad to be back! Missed everyone!

Rebecca Knight said...

This is a fantastic post! There is nothing like that high of finishing something you're proud of, every time, or even just the joy of sitting down and churning out word after word...

I am definitely loving the journey :).

MG Higgins said...

I got some edits back the other day and even though they represented tons of work, I was SO EXCITED to get started. Yes, even rewriting is fun ... most of the time.

Stephanie Thornton said...

I'm glad you're back!

Writing is fun! Where else can I control everyone else in a little world of my own creation?

*cue evil laugh*

Actually, my characters usually end up surprising me, but that's even more fun.

Although I will say, I've recently discovered that writing a synopsis is less than fun. Blecch.