Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Joy of Writing

Writing can be a frustrating business. You have days when you sit and stare at your page and write maybe a paragraph or two, knowing full well that the next day you will probably delete it all anyway, and then you have days where several hours seem to just slip by, resulting in several pages, some of which, when you read them later, you can hardly remember writing.

There’s no telling which of these any particular day will be. I’ve had days when I’ve started off feeling very positive, only to get so bogged down over a particular scene that I have to give up, and days when writing is the last thing I feel like doing, yet it turns out to be one of the best.

While writing my second novel, I discovered that the most important thing was to write every day, or if I didn’t have the chance to write, at least review what I’d written the day before, so that the latest arc of the story was always fresh in my mind. This way, even if I wasn’t physically writing, sub-consciously I’d be sifting plot ideas and character development in my mind, and I was constantly amazed by how many ideas came to me while I was doing something other than writing. This invariably fed enthusiasm for the next day’s writing.

I also discovered something else: the joy that writing brings me. When I write regularly, I feel a satisfaction and calmness (despite the frustrations) that seems to elude me otherwise, and which carries into all my other activities. Life seems brighter, filled with more possibilities. Maybe it’s because in needing to engage the imagination in writing, it automatically spills over into other aspects of life too, particularly in providing an excuse to delve into all kinds of interesting activities and information, all in the name of research for the latest novel. Then again, maybe I’m just crazy!

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