Body-Mind-Spirit - Inspiration for Writers, Dreamers, and Seekers of Health & Happiness
Last week on my mastermind call for women writers and coaches we stumbled into an interesting conversation around this question: “Does writing always have to be ‘fun?’” One writer said something I’ve heard many of my students and clients share: “I’m not crazy about writing, but I love having written.” We all agreed that sometimes writing is fun—but not always—and for some it’s rarely fun.
However, we acknowledged that writing is compelling and engaging; it provides an ineffable satisfaction; we enjoy finding ways to communicate our craft. Some of us felt that our writing process was sacred, holy, and healing. One woman compared it to parenting, which, ideally, is based in love. Neither parenting nor writing is all fun and games, though; there may be equal parts bliss and frustration, joy, and torment—there’s work involved.
This resonated with me and reminded me of a chapter in my forthcoming book: Where Do You Hang Your Hammock: How to Find Freedom and Peace of Mind While You Write, Publish, and Promote Your Book, in which I encourage writers approaching publication to remember why they write. This helps us stay grounded in and connected to our values as we put our work out into the world. It’s a stabilizing practice.
Of course, we all write for different reasons. Here are a few I mention in my book:
• I write because I love stories.
• I write to see what I’m thinking.
• I write to document my experience or someone else’s experience.
• I write to heal.
• I write to change or inspire (myself or others).
• I write to teach or educate—or to learn.
• I write so that I won’t forget.
• I write for posterity.
Don’t get hung up about whether or not your writing is fun. Look at what it gives you. Think of it as a relationship in which give-and-take go hand-in-hand. Consider that there will be good times and bad. This is normal.
That said, you are more likely to enjoy your writing when you allow yourself to write what you want to write with no thought to outcome. Try releasing judgments and expectations toward yourself and your writing. Let your writing exist on its own terms. When you approach your writing open and curious like a child, when you show up and let yourself play and explore, you’re more likely to have fun. The key is to hold it lightly, to let your writing lead you once in awhile. Relinquishing control of your writing, at least sometimes, may be just what you need to rekindle an old flame or encounter a new one!