I guess there are as many ways to be happy as there are writers. This is just my way and luckily it’s not all about cavorting in flowered meadows on a sunny day otherwise I’d be a lot less happy than I am 🙂
WHY WRITING MAKES ME HAPPY
1. I write when I feel like writing
and that’s pretty much every day. I write because I want to write not because I’m forcing myself to reach a certain word count or deadline. If I follow any challenges (internal or external) it’s for fun not to guilt myself into working. I want to do this and I do.
2. I write what I want
Luckily for me that what I want to write is popular enough that I don’t worry about having an audience, because I think I would be sad if I spent a long time working on a book and then…crickets.
3. I’m getting better
When I read the stories I published a year ago, I want to rewrite them (and sometimes I do), so that means I’m learning right even if readers still like those older books?
4. I finish what I start
Well mostly I do though I have a notebook filled with ideas and fragments of stories. So far I have finished two steamy novels and a whole heap of shorter stories. That’s much more satisfying than sitting on one idea for years and never finishing it.
5. I get into my characters’ heads
I fall in love all over again when I write. I love my hubby to bits but we have been married for years so it’s a nice way of experiencing that head over heels feeling all over again without going off the rails…
6. I get to find out all kinds of things…
…in the name of research. Sometimes I have to clear my browsing history of …all the things, before anyone starts wondering about some of those naughty things I looked up 🙂
7. Everything that happens is raw material
No experience or sight or sound or conversation is ever wasted when you are a writer. A bad meal at a restaurant. A disaster holiday. It all becomes part of the big boiling pot to sup from when inspiration is needed. Even past grief and heart break are grist for the mill – but life, if you are listening, I have had enough of the sad stuff to write any story I like now, thanks all the same. (And if I’m stuck I’ll use my imagination.)
8. It’s a delicious secret
I don’t share my pen name with family and friends. I just don’t. They know I write but they haven’t bought or read a single story of mine (that I know about.) So I’m not stuck wondering what people I know think of my work. I like that. It makes me uninhibited when I write. I don’t have to worry whether my mother-in-law will read that steamy sex scene and disapprove. I don’t have to care either way because she’ll never know.
9. It’s fun to connect with readers
Because I’m a secret writer I sometimes think my readers know me better than my family and friends! They probably have a better idea what is going on in my head in any case! Writing and internet friends are great for introverts.
10. It pays (sometimes)
Some books do well, most do okay and some never make it. And I’m okay with that. I’m grateful my husband works (please let him keep his job) and that he’s indulgent enough to support my writing even if it doesn’t bring in enough to replace a full-time salary. And even though even he hasn’t a clue what my pen name is. But there’s satisfaction in earning from writing no matter how much – someone liked my story enough to pay for it. Not just download it for free. But chose to spend their hard-earned money for it. Even if it’s just 99c or $2.99. that purchase means a lot to me.
WHAT I NEED TO GET BETTER AT
1. Not comparing myself to others
I need to stop looking at wildly successful authors and best selling novels and thinking I’ll never get there. We all had to start somewhere, and we can get there one step at a time…And I have to stop caring too much about Amazon ranking. I made it to the top 1000 of all the books sold on Amazon one day, but even then I have to tell myself not to care too much now that book is no longer in the limelight.
2. Paying too much attention to negativity
It’s funny that one negative review can knock a writer for six and take on a HUGE IMPORTANCE in the face of a hundred positive reviews. I have to remember it’s impossible to please all the readers all of the time and not take it personally. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot to learn from negative feedback but no matter my books are not everyone’s cup of tea. Some people just like coffee and others only lemonade. Some days I just need to remind myself to read some of the one star reviews posted about the great classics on Amazon to feel better.
3. Ignoring Everything Else
I can get so wrapped up in writing that everything else gets neglected – gaining weight and dust bunny build up is an occupational hazard. Must do better at that!
What makes you happy/gets you down about writing?