Friday, April 20, 2007

When Writing Becomes Work

Happy Friday, all!
I have nothing to blog about. I'm sitting here at midnight thinking about how I'd much rather be out in the garden tending to my roses or planting those hollyhocks or Canterbury Bells. This would be because it's spring. And spring is like, "Holy cow, lemme outta here!" Gardening is something that comes honest to me. My grandma must have been a mutant because she seemed to have had four green thumbs, instead of two. Both of her daughters, my aunts, were amazing gardeners as well. I love the smell of the earth, watching something grow from a seed and then feeling amazed when the birds and butterflies actually partake of the bounty. Gardening, like genealogy and quiltmaking and scrapbooking, is a hobby. Like quilting, it's something I'm extremely passionate about. I can't just plant ecchinacea, I have to know the history of it, all the different colors it comes in. I take hobby to a whole new level.
But wait, what about writing? Writing used to be my hobby. Until I got published. Then it became a job. I can remember how I used to call my other writing friends and say, "Oh, I'm already on page 200. I can't wait until tomorrow when Torie discovers that the Pony Express detoured through New Kassel!"
Steadily it has become more like; "Sharon, I can't believe I'm only on page 200. Hey, you think the fans will notice if I burn down New Kassel and have Torie run away with the new sheriff to live on a deserted island in the south Pacific? What? You really think they'll notice? Because I'm thinking they won't. What? Oh, all right. Argh."
I really honestly never thought this would be an issue. Ten years ago, I envisioned myself lovingly writing word after word after word until I was a hundred. But it's become something I have to do. Before, writing was like, cheating or something. I got to spend a couple hours everyday being somebody else when nobody was looking.
So what to do when writing becomes work? Well, here are a few things I've tried.
1) Read. I know, it's seems to simple. But reading is what made me want to be a writer in the first place. When I'm at this point and feeling frustrated, I try to read something comforting or familiar. A new book in a favorite series. Reading knew things sometimes puts me on edge and makes me feel pressured. Old familiars, and something lighthearted reminds me of why I love to read and write, and yet entertains me at the same time.
2) Yoga. The stuff is like magic. Cures most anything.
3) I make a list of story ideas I want to write someday. This reminds me of why I started writing in the first place. And sometimes I even write a paragraph or a chapter of something other than the book I'm contracted to write.
4) I make a list of all the crummy jobs I've ever had and all the crummy jobs I'll keep having if I'm not writing. This one usually works.
My husband tells me I'll never be able to not write. Words and characters tumble around in my head all the time, and he's right. Still, there are times I think I just can't make myself sit down and write one more word. I'm all out of words. There's NOTHING LEFT!
Sort of how like I said at the beginning of this blog that I had nothing to blog about, and look . . . those words just find their way out.

1 comment:

Rett MacPherson said...

I'm going to comment on my own blog! I should know better than to blog at midnight. It's difficult to remember how to spell when my eyes are crossing and I'm yawning more than breathing. :-) I promise, I'll never blog at midnight again.