Writing, Writing Posts

Write What You Love

Hello, lovelies!

Today is Valentine’s Day. Or Single Awareness Day. The day we use as an excuse to spent lots of money (or at least extra money) on those we love and buy overpriced chocolate that, at midnight, goes 75% off simply because hearts are printed on the packaging and don’t you know we don’t care about love and what it means after the 14th of February?

I’ve written about that a lot over the years, but that’s not the focus I want to place today.

Today, I want to talk about writing.

And the importance in writing what you love.

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I’m not sure what exactly happened in 2019 (aside from the fact that it was, um, the clusterfuck that was 2019) but since 2020 has come and graced us with it’s presence, I’ve seen a lot of resolutions and goals posts. Not uncommon for this time of year and I personally really enjoy reading them, so I was happy to see so many grace my feeds, curious what others who I respect and admire want to work on in the upcoming year.

Yet I was surprised to read how many writers felt they’ve lost the love of writing and wanting to recapture that this year.

Myself included.

I can’t pin down what happened within the writing community specifically that made this a more common goal I stumbled across more often than not–or even if there is a widespread reason at all and not just all of us a similar difficult journey that wasn’t made any better by the depressing state of the world and the fucked up political mindset.

For me, that was definitely part of it.

I think another part was just querying taking it’s toll.

But not just querying.

Also, dreams.

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You see, I’ve wanted to be a published author for longer than I can remember. I was one of those kids who listed “author” because “knight” and “wizard” when I was first asked as a child. I always knew I wanted to write and there’s hardly any memories of how I found that passion or why it won’t let me go. But that dream as always been there and I’ve been actively working towards making it come true since I was in 7th grade.

I’m 28 now and, though I’ve grown by leaps and bounds, the pile of rejection letters from BLOOD PRICE still sting.

I know I still have plenty of time; that not completing the dream so far doesn’t mean it’s impossible still to do so. I’m still determined to make BLOOD PRICE my debut. But as I move onto the sequel and start thinking of what I want to write after, I find myself missing loving the process, like I once did; missing getting excited to write, wondering what kind of stories I can create, what stories I fall in love writing.

Instead, I am just so focused on marketability. Of doing things “right,” whatever the fuck that means. Of making sure readers will like what I right, that I won’t step on anyone’s toes. Of writing something publishable first, instead of writing something I love first.

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It’s…a bit exhausting, to be honest. Especially when you’re still trying to create and dream. Especially during zero, first and second drafts.

I don’t really have a resolution to this post. Only that I know I’m struggling a lit, to love what means the most to me, because I’m so caught up in the dream, I’m forgetting to focus on the journey. And I hope to recapture the love for the journey, the fearlessness I had when I first started out, writing stories for me, that would enjoy.

Stories I fell in love with first, before worrying if anyone else would, too.

If you’re struggling with this, please know you’re not alone, though I’m sorry I don’t have any good tips or answers to give you. I hope we’re both able to figure out what’s blocking us and capture what we love again, even if it feels a little bit like going back to square one. But maybe, perhaps, that’s just what we need.

Cheers.post signature

 

22 thoughts on “Write What You Love”

  1. Great post! The indie writer’s struggle is real, and I’m tired of it. I decided to just give my first book away, one chapter per week, on my blog. Selling directly to my readers will be the next step if enough people show interest. As for post V-day discounted chocolates… 75% off still gets 100% of my love!

  2. Love this post and I just wanted to take a moment to comment and tell you thank you for sharing? Getting older and not reaching your dreams makes them feel… too late, I guess. I’m 30 and the dream feels too far to grasp and it’s just a breath of fresh air sometimes to connect with others who struggle but still have that passion. 💕 Here’s to hoping all your dreams come true.

    1. Aww, Amber, thank you so much!! Your comment means the world to me. Yeah, I turn 28 this year and I’m just like, “Shit, if I don’t do it before 30, I’m screwed.” Which, I realize is totally inaccurate and not at all how that works, but I definitely feel like I’m running out of time when that is absolutely not the case. I’ll always be here to cheer you on, if you ever need a rant or a pick-me-up. I’m rooting for you! ❤

      1. Haha now that I’m 30 I just try not to think about how it feels like time is running out for EVERYTHING. Because it depresses me. 🤣🤣 Thank you for the lovely reply, it made me smile. 😊😊😊

  3. Oh Nicole this is the best post I’ve read in a long time and the most relatable one, too. I’m not even ready for the whole querying process, but my mind also sometimes focuses a little too much on marketability, doing things right and, like you said, writing something publishable. Sometimes it makes me feel so stuck, sometimes it makes me want to stop, sometimes it makes me want to question everything I’m writing, too.
    Honestly, I don’t know what it’s like to feel like that while querying and trying to write something new at the same time, so I can’t have any advice for that particular situation. For me, in the editing process… I try to ignore the tweets and the people getting book deals I’m already dreaming of even if I’m SO FAR away from it (awkward laughter here… aerm). I try to just focus on the words. I do LOTS of aesthetics and I look at them, they tend to inspire me again for my story and to make me fall in love with my words again. I re-read messages from beta readers giving me hope, I find my love back in the fact that, no matter how long I stop, when I come back to writing, somehow I feel that warmth, that feeling of belonging there, typing the words even if they’re messy and not making any sense because it’s a first draft, an obscur edit and so on.
    I am SO rambling and have NO idea if this helps whatsoever, but I hope you’ll find the love again. Like blog posts, I really believe you can feel a story a writer loved writing through their words, too. ❤

    1. Ahhh, your comment was everything and more, my goodness. ❤

      But yes, it is so hard *not* to think about doing things "right" and marketability when publishing is the dream, even when we know it's all subjective anyway. Your rambling was amazing and captures exactly how I feel, too! ❤

      I didn't even think about how you can definitely tell when a writer fell in love with their work through their voice and all the love they put into the story. I need to remember that, because I hope that's reflected in what I've written, no matter where it ends up.

      We're both going to make it, Marie, of that I am 100% certain. And having one another there to cheerlead each other on certainly helps. ❤

      1. YES! I think it’s crucial to remember that and I always try to whenever I feel in a rut. I can feel the love and enthusiasm when I’m reading a blog post and when I’m reading a wonderful book, too and that’s the feeling I want to pass on, too 🙂
        always here to be your cheerleader!! ❤ ❤

  4. God, this is … very real. Too real. I think of this as writer burnout — when we work so hard at something that it becomes a job and stops being magic. And writing is always work and always hard, so that line is very near for us. And the depressing state of the world … well, bad mental health has had such a huge impact on my ability and motivation and love of writing, and I don’t think it’s helped me at all that the world is constantly (and sometimes literally) on fire.

    I wish I had advice that I knew would work. My go-to when I feel like this is to start a completely different project — something dumb and fun and full of ‘guilty pleasures’ (more like gleeful pleasures in my case — dragons! Witches! Rivals to romance!) where you don’t worry too much about whether it’ll be publishable and just write it because it’s fun.

    Fanfic writing is great for this too — I don’t know if I’d have ever rallied enough to publish Books & Bone if I hadn’t written an egregiously tropey Mystic Messenger fic between edits.

    But whatever ends up working for you — and I am confident you will find your way through this, however and whenever that may be — I wish you a spark and joy again in your writing.

    1. YES, that first paragraph captured everything I was trying to say PERFECTLY.

      I do think I should try and get into the fanfiction! I wrote a little bit of gaming facfic and I think I wouldn’t mind getting back into that. I also really want to try and write a new story this year. I dunno what yet, but I think writing something completely new that I don’t have sights on publishing yet is a great idea.

      I am still trying to work on the sequel to my current duology, most because I just can’t let Natanni go just yet, and had a good writing night last night! So I’m hopeful it will continue and if I continue to just work on my mindset, I’ll hopefully get that joy back.

      Rooting for you. ❤

  5. It’s wonderful to see people being transparent about the ups and downs of writing life! I’ve been thinking lately about sharing more about my publishing journey (or lack thereof?) for this very reason. I have an agent, so it SEEMS like that should be an ultimate motivator, but even after you pass that hurdle, there’s still the hurdle of getting a publisher to say yes, and then there are more hurdles after that. It can be difficult to keep creating when you feel like the things you’ve alread created aren’t getting much traction and you’re worried that the dream isn’t going to happen for you.

    BUT, I will encourage you by saying that 28 is a spring chicken. I just turned 46, and I just got my agent last year, and fingers crossed that I’ll be publishing well into my old age. 🙂

    1. I am ALWAYS game to read more about writing life, especially from people who have experienced becoming agented (though, of course, always to someone’s comfort level of sharing!!). I am just fascinated by each experience and the commonalities and uniqueness of each one. So I’d be very curious to hear how yours is going and I hope it continues to go well and result int what you hope for! ❤

      Oh yes, I am definitely planning to continue writing well until…well, as long as I can, truly!

  6. As always, great writing and so true! I had the same problem last year, writing for marketability and not loving it in the end. So my newest posts have just been me writing and they’ve had the best feedback of any others!

    So this year I’m just writing what I want and love.

    And I still believe in BLOOD PRICE!

    1. YES, Beth, that is so amazing!! I am so glad you’ve had that experience with that feedback and I hope you’re enjoying what you’re writing more.

      Me too! I’m not giving up on it yet. ❤ But your belief means the WORLD.

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