When I started writing, I was awed by the feeling of joy at being in the flow as the words spilled easily onto the page. Forty titles later, I can say that each project had its ups and downs. No two were the same. And at times, I didn’t feel the joy that comes with creativity. Being distracted by how things “should” be, what I “should” be concentrating on, what parts of the craft I “needed” to improve meant my inner critic was in control and the muse had gone on vacation.
The last few days I’ve dedicated time and effort to finishing The Secret Gift. As often happens, the ending takes longer to write than I think it would. I refused to get bogged down in the copious amount of steps that happen after I write the last word. I ignored my inner critic who barked that I had missing pieces, that this story will be too long for a novella, and how all that didn’t matter because no one would read it anyway.
I listened with half an ear to the details I know I have forgotten. They’ll be added after I finish typing the story. I know the multitude of steps required to publish a story. I’ve done it forty times. And as far as no one reading the story, well, I know some of my newsletter subscribers will want to get a copy. I’m not completely done, but a handful of pages away from the end. The villains have been arrested. The hero rescued the heroine. And Milo will be awarded a medal for his bravery and valor. And once I write the last word, and begin the very long list of tasks to get the story published, I have nothing to fear. I have experience and confidence and rediscovered love, which all trump my fears and doubts.
In the last few days, as I channel my focus and put pen to paper, I’ve rediscovered the joy of writing. The characters struggle to get what they want, but meet challenges at every turn. At the end, the hero and heroine end up together, and the villain is served justice. Perhaps most importantly, this author has found what has been missing for a year: the trust in the process, the fun of writing, the joy of being in flow. Have you forgotten what it’s like to do something you used to enjoy? Can you reengage with it at some level?