Friday, January 18, 2008

Joy of Writing and Believing in Ourselves

As I put together the lessons for my online writing class I find myself thinking that if my students take away only one thing from the class, I hope that it’s how to have a sense of fun as they write. I know what it’s like to try to write under pressure or when it feels dead serious. I know how much easier it is if it’s fun.

I also find myself thinking how much getting published means to writers. There are more options than ever these days and I think that’s a good thing. It also means there are more potential pitfalls and possible avenues for rejection. Which, ironically goes along with what I talked about in the first paragraph—wanting to have a sense of fun when we’re writing.

One of the exercises I gave my students this week—and one I give my writer life coaching clients—is to make a list of every success you’ve had in your life and a list of everything you like about yourself and/or all your strengths.

The reason I give that exercise is that it’s much easier to detach from outcome and let go of the fear of rejection if we find our validation within ourselves, if we know we are capable of success in our lives—no matter what happens with a given manuscript.

The irony is that I believe we write (or do anything in our lives!) the best when we are able to let go of fear and believe in ourselves and have fun doing it. That’s when our creativity and resourcefulness are most likely to kick in.

Here’s hoping that no matter what the challenge in your life this week, you’re able to find moments of joy and ways to believe in who you are and your ability to accomplish whatever it is you need or want to do.


Lara Lee said...

It is so much easier to write when it's fun. Last year when I was writing for the Avon contest and for my writing group, I had a blast. My little successes there are what made me believe I could be a writer. Now that I'm taking a more serious approach, I have a hard time making myself write. Some of my writing friends have been telling me that it's because I'm afraid of failing. Maybe so. But until I read your blog I couldn't explain it to them. It's because my writing has lost much of the joy.

So thank you. Your words are inspiring.

April said...

Lara Lee, Welcome! I'm so glad you like what I wrote and that it spoke to you. Good luck with your own writing! you sit down to write, close your eyes and remember what it was like to play make believe as a child. See if you can hang onto that feeling as you begin to write.

Lara Lee said...

I'll try it. Thank you. I do want to bring the joy back into my writing. It's all the much better for it.