What a release to write so that one forgets oneself, forgets one’s companion, forgets where one is or what one is going to do next—to be drenched in sleep or in the sea. Pencils and pads and curling, blue sheets alive with letters heap up on the desk. —Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Do you feel the same way about writing as the author of the quote above? I do.
Writing has been a part of me ever since I can remember. I get great satisfaction out of finishing a poem, writing the end on a story, and even composing blog posts. I’m a poet, a playwright, a journalist, a lyricist and composer, and a romance author. Stories come to me unbidden in dreams. Snatches of original music or lyrics jump into my head. When I see something or someone unusual, read an interesting tidbit in the newspaper or magazine, or even hear a particularly interesting phrase, ideas bubble to the surface of my mind, and I MUST capture them for a future story.
Like reading, where I get so absorbed that I don’t hear anything that goes on around me, writing pulls me into another place. A place that transports me. A place where I control what happens. A place where what I put on the paper makes the world I create a happier place. Because when you write romance the Happily-Ever-After is important. I guess that’s why I love to write romance and action stories where good triumphs and love conquers all.
For me life without writing is like Oreos without milk, a garden without flowers, a wedding with no bride and groom, happiness and no one with whom to share the joy. I can’t not write. No matter what the circumstances.
But, sometimes I get so caught up in the merry-go-round of striving for writing success that I forget the joy of putting words on paper. The deadlines of blog posts, book edits, and marketing sap my writing joy and dry up my creative well. If that’s happening to you, let me suggest a few simple ways to find the joy in writing again.
- Take a break from the stress of whatever deadline you’re facing. Unplug yourself from your computer, your cell phone, the internet, and any modern tools you use for marketing. Sit in the sun on the beach, a park, or your favorite place to unwind, and drink in the surroundings.
- Go to the movies, and don’t dissect the film. It’s an unfortunate byproduct of writing. Instead, let yourself be surprised by the plot twists and turns the writer has planned.
- Spread a blanket on the grass or deck and cloud watch. Look for animals, faces, and mythical creatures that float in the sky above us. You’ll be amazed at what you see. Watch the creatures dissipate and morph. If you must create, craft a fantastical bedtime story for your children or grandchildren. But don’t write it down. Remember it.
- Experiment with a different creative outlet. I’m a gardener and nothing loosens my writing stress like pulling a few weeds. I also quilt, and I love getting lost in a fabric store or quilt catalogue, imagining all the beautiful things I could make. I probably won’t ever make them, but it’s fun dreaming.
- If you cannot stay away from writing, choose a different medium. If you compose on the computer, use pen or pencil and paper. If you write with a pencil, try composing on the computer. Or better yet, let your inner child loose and write with colored pencils or crayons. Then draw a picture to illustrate the story.
The method you choose to keep joy in your writing isn’t what’s important here. The results are what counts, because without joy in our writing, writing is merely a job. That’s not how I want to write, because I like my gardens with flowers and the white sheets flowing from my printer alive with letters-joyful letters.
What about you? What do you do to keep the joy in your writing?
Award winning author Catherine Castle has been writing all her life. Before beginning her career as a romance writer she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. Besides writing, Catherine loves traveling with her husband, singing, and attending theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.
Her debut inspiration romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing is a 2014 Beverly Hills Book Award Winner, a 2014 RONE winner, a 2014 EPIC finalist, a 2014 RONE finalist and a Carolyn Readers Choice Award finalist and an ACFW Genesis Finalist.