Monday I posted about the first important thing that I thought writers should remember: that you should put your energy into your intention. Thanks everyone who commented with super nice sweet things to say. Today I'm talking about the second thing I think writers should remember.
As I said Monday, these are just my thoughts on the big picture of a writer's pursuits, whatever those pursuits may be. For most of us, that includes representation and publication (and then success). I'll repeat here what I said Monday: I'm currently unrepresented and unpublished, so you may not really care to hear what I have to say. After all, I haven't been there, have I? These are just my thoughts. Agree or disagree, I'd love to hear what you think in the comments.
So for the past three years or so, I have spent a lot of time writing. I don't take a lot of breaks. I usually write after my whippersnapper goes to bed. I also blog then, and read, too. I've kept up a pretty feverish writing pace, and I've never regretted it. I don't question my pace because I love writing. Writing is my play, and I do it instead of watching TV or cleaning. Also, I know I had a lot of ground to cover because while I'd always written stories all my life, I'd never written novels. There's a lot of learning to be done.
Last weekend while being pampered and served by my mother, I had lots of time to think and surf the internet and catch up on my reading. One of those I caught up with was Writer's Digest. When I saw Zachary Petite's Promptly blog post on Writer's Digest about the one thing Sue Grafton reminds herself of with every book she writes, I liked what Sue had to say, and then kind of moved on. But later on, I realized it really resonated with me. A lot, in fact. I knew I'd arrived at the second important thing I think writers should remember:
Writing is play.
Sue Grafton actually said her lesson is that she should trust the process, but ends with the reminder that writing is play. When I question what the hell I'm doing, what dreck I'm pushing out, what effort I put in, why I bother researching every single agent I submit to far, far more than it takes for them to reject me, I remind myself that writing is my play. I never tire of it, and therefore I never tire of any part of the process associated with it, including the search for representation and publication. I've heard it said many times that publishing is a business and cannot be approached as a hobby or anything less than a job. And I agree, 100%. But for me, if I don't have the underlying passion and drive for the thing in the first place, if it isn't my form of play, then how can a publishing career be a long-term pursuit for me?
Your mileage may vary, of course. But I need anything I do intently and whole-heartedly to be my play, or else I won't put the intensity in that it requires. I've got to love it.
What do you think? What do you think about both of these important things writers should remember?