Monday, August 13, 2012
Don't Let Anyone Steal Your Joy--Lenora Worth
Hello! I recently read a great article in the RWR (Romance Writers Report) It's titled "Protecting the Girl" by Claudia Welch. When I first started reading the article, I wasn't sure where it was going. But once I was halfway through, I was so glad I read it. Welch talks about the joy of writing and how to keep that once reality sets in. And reality always sets in. She talks about goal, movitation and conflict (not in your characters this time). In you, as the writer. We are motivated by approval, fear, success and the desire to read. We might not necessarily be motivated by all of these things, but we can be motivated by one or more of the above. The articles goes on to say we need to figure out what motivates us and feed on that in order to avoid burn-out, or killing the girl. Welch says "The point of everything is to keep the love for writing alive." This article hit me right between my eyes. I love writing. I eat, sleep, breathe writing. I knew I wanted to be a writer way back in grammar school. This goal tamed me and calmed me and gave me the courage to keep on going. Even when I told myself I wasn't smart enough to write a book, let along sell one and see myself as a published writer, I didn't give up. I had such a joy in my soul for the written word, that nothing--not the naysayers, not the doubters, not mean people with hidden agendas--could stop me from pursuing my dream. But as we all know, the dream is full of reality. This is a business--That means money is involved. I write for the joy of it, but I also write to contribute to my household income. But I use the rule that Welch mentions in this article--I protect the work. I guard the writing. If that means I have to sometimes "go undeground", "(my term here) then I do that. I go into that writing cave and even through hard edits or a story that doesn't know how to end, I work through it and find the joy somewhere in there. We can't let anyone steal our joy. A serious writer will stay a serious writer. I have a wicked sense of humor and I make fun of myself all the time. But I'm completely serious when it comes to writing my books. This is hard work, not in a construction-worker-on-top-of-a-tin-roof-hard, mind you, but mentally and physically hard all the same. If there comes a tme when I no longer feel the joy, what will I do? I hope I never have to make that decision. But it's fascinating to discuss the joy of writing and protecting the girl--in my case the girl who used to write short-stories and sell them at recess! That was joy. This is joy. I guard it with all my heart.