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.
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.
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.
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.
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 I 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.